In this tutorial I will show you a few common ways you can use to start a braid.
Starting a braid becomes interesting mostly when plaiting over a core. When braiding without a core, usually a knot is used at the start to keep cords in line.
When plaiting, you have an abundance of way to start your plait. In general, little focus is put on this beginning, mostly because the start is most likely covered using a decorative knot. In some cases, like in whips, the start may even be secured and cut/sawn off.
The examples below are just a few ways you can use to start your plaiting, if you wish to have a systematic way of doing it. Some are simple, some a bit more advanced.
A woven start
A woven start is made by interlocking your cords in a woven pattern. This will result in a plaited pattern.
Simple wrap around
The wrap around is useful mostly because it is easy and fast to do. A good choice.
A second set has been tucked under the wrap, as shown by the two black cords.
Tied on ends
Tied on ends are an option when starting a plait using the entire length of the working cord. Tying the ends off with a piece of rope or cord is all there is needed. Later on, the ends are covered with a decorative knot.
Often, I will not employ any technique, but placing my cords over the core and start plaiting.
Turk’s head start for a braid
Using a 3 part turk’s head to start your braid is decorative as well as functional.
A video tutorial on this technique:
Spanish ring knot start for a braid
The Spanish ring knot, made with the ends of your cords is a secure and beautiful way to start a braid. You need to learn it, but once you have it down, this is a useful technique that does not require a covering knot.
A video tutorial on this way of starting a braid:
The style you choose is up to you. Mostly we select a start that we need, depending on color combination and braid type. Personally, I find all of the listed starts viable.