In this tutorial we will learn how to start an Australian style flat braid.
Australian flat braids, as pointed out by Bruce Grant in his Encyclopedia are very appropriate for making belts. Unlike the traditional start, where you would begin braiding at the buckle end, the Australian flat braids are started at the other, pointed end. This is a very easy beginning for a braid, a well as a very clean one. Ending braids started at the buckle is often a pain.
Below I demonstrate the start that can be used for any number of strands (usually an even number).
The set up is really simple. First determine the number of strands you need. Each cord will add two more strands to the braid. So for a 4 strand flat braid, you will need 2 cords, for 6, three and so on.
Take one of the strands and make a loop with it.
Add the second cord through the loop. Notice how the cords form an over-under sequence on both sides.
For a six strand braid, another cord is added at the top. Notice that the sequence is always over-under on both sides.
From this you can extrapolate how easy you can add cords to make an 8, 10, 12 or higher number of strands to a braid.
For those that would like to see this in video form, a tutorial is also available:
How to braid from the start?
After you have your cords set up, you can simply transition into any braid you would like.
For example, a simple, 6 strand flat braid would be done so:
6 cords, set up with the method above.
The left cord moves under over to the right.
The right goes over, under, over to the left.
Then repeat the left again.
I have done a number of videos on braids, that start this way. Some you might find interesting are listed below. Make sure you find the pattern they are worked in, so you do not have to memorize all of the sequences.
How is such a braid finished?
So, you have braided a length. Now you want to attach a buckle. How is this done?
Traditionally, the braid is back-braided into itself. I will be making a video on this in the following days.