Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding

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Rococo Inspired Weaving and Braiding by Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp and Perles et Cetera Fall 2016 Issue

When I think of rococo, the extravagant gowns and hairstyles of Marie Antoinette come to mind immediately. The Rococo style was coming to the end of its popularity at the same time support for the French monarchy died. Rococo styling had been featured in architecture, home décor and fashion, it was “just too much” and it was criticised for being superficial and ridiculous. In the end, I believe it showcased a style of living that few people could attain (we all know how it worked out for Marie Antoinette) and lead to a new movement, the Empire Style, that was simpler, free spirited and with less decoration.

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Although Rococo appeared frivolous, it still included intricate patterns and designs. It also featured imagery of love and romance. With that style guide in mind, I decided to create some bracelets that would feature patterns derived by weaving and braiding with two classic royal colors: red and purple.

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Bracelet one is a woven pattern created on a new tool, the Beadalon Bracelet Weaver tool. Bracelet two is the same woven design, however it has been cut and embellished in an “over the top” manor. Bracelet three is a classic kumihimo 8-strand braid. Worn together they would be extravagant. However, in the words of Iris Apfel, “Most people say take one off: I say add one on.” This over-embellishment ideal is my own.

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To create the weave for the bracelets I used the latest award-winning tool to be launched by Beadalon this year: the Bangle Bracelet Weaver. The metal base has three sets of holes, which ultimately creates three different sized bangles. I used the large size and set my warp pins into the outer circle of holes. The tool comes with wonderful step-by-step photo instructions and you can see a video demonstration on their YouTube channel explaining how to create fabulous wire and fiber bangles.

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The first bracelet began with just a simple knot to tie my two rattail strands together and then I weaved.

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It is a positively enjoyable process because you start to see your patterns quickly.

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To make your weaving permanent, a length of fiber or wire is used to thread between your woven fibers next to the warp pins.

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My finished bangle is lightweight since I used rattail and some cording to make it.

I then made a second identical bangle.

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I needed to cut my second bangle open, so to ensure my weaving would not unravel I added lines of glue in two locations.

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When the glue was completely dry I simply cut next to the glue lines.

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I then attached my silver end caps with additional glue hiding those two unfinished cut sections.

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With my bangle now flat, I was able to hand stitch some beads throughout. My open bangle was finished with a magnetic clasp and I chose to dangle to crystal heart pendants to the clasp with jump rings.

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The third bracelet was created with my kumihimo disk and finishing components.

Together I have a set of bracelets, which can be worn on one or both arms. The addition of some beautiful Swarovski crystal hearts adds the romance factor I was seeking. Slider bails allowed me to attach a Swarovski heart pendant to the kumihimo bracelet and I experimented with both 3 and 5 bails. In the end I used one bail and attached my two other crystal hearts to the beaded bangle.

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This project appeared originally in French in the Fall 2016 issues of Perles et Cetera magazine.  They did a wonderful job photographing and showcasing the bracelets!

John Bead Corp Products Used

Bracelet One
Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool
Red and Purple Rattail
Red Lovely Knots Cord

Bracelet Two
Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool
Red and Purple Rattail
Red Lovely Knots Cord
Rectangle Kumihimo End Caps
Magnetic Closure
Jump Rings
Swarovski Pendant 6202 Heart
Miyuki 11.0 Seed Beads
Preciosa Red Ripple™ Beads

Bracelet Three
Dazzle-it Kumihimo Disk
Red and Purple rattail
End Cap and Closure set for Kumihimo
Pendant Bail Slider
Swarovski Pendant 6202 Heart
Jump Rings

Cotton Wax Cord Kumihimo Bracelet

This kumihimo braided bracelet features small wooden beads and our new cotton wax cord.

The cotton wax cord is available in four different sizes.   (I used three sizes of the neon pink.)

For my eight strand classic braid I made one addition by loading pink beads onto one of the cords. 

I braided as I normally would, being careful to insert a pink bead each time I moved that special pre-beaded cord. 

Isn’t this great?  You can create so many looks with the addition of just one strand of beads. 

 

Dazzle-it Cotton Wax Cord is available in 1mm, 1.5 mm 2,mm and 3mm.

 

Kumihimo and Aluminum Chain

This kumihimo necklace features the addition of our new lightweight aluminum chain.

The braid is a unique one.

It features white rattail, hemp and a beaded string found in a fabric store.

I made my braid using the classic 8-strand directions which you can see on the video I posted here.

Once my braid was done I finished it with a glue-on silver endcap.  Then I gathered a few more supplies which included the cut link silver chain, a finishing clasp, jump rings and pliers to open them.

The simple task of joining the chain to the kumihimo was straightforward.  To start, I added one jump ring, to link the chain to the endcap.

Then I added jump rings attaching the chain to one strand of the kumihimo braid.

You can see in the picture that I always attached the jumpring to the mauve hemp cord.

I was careful to untwist the chain and work with my braid flat to my worktable.  The chain adds sparkle! This was a simple way to make my kumihimo braid more interesting.

 

Kumihimo Necklace with Aluminum Chain

This choker features the classic 8-strand kumihimo braid with the addition of some gold glamour.

Several readers have reported a difficulty finding rattail kumihimo cord.  This necklace will remind you that you can use other types of stringing material to make a unique kumihimo braid in your Dazzle-it disk.

You can see here that I used traditional rattail but also added cotton wax cord and a gold specialty braid found in the ribbon department of my local craft store.

When the braid was complete I added the end caps and then my lightweight aluminum chain.

The new aluminum chain in the catalog is available in several sizes and colours.

   

Kumihimo braids will always look different if you add in fibers that are unexpected.

End caps can be purchased in various sizes.  The largest one finished this necklace beautifully.

 

Kumihimo With Unique Fibers and Swarovski Starfish

This kumihimo bracelet is for that person who feels bigger is better!

You can always make a thinner braid on the kumihimo disk.  What this post is going to show you is that you can also make braids that are super thick too.

This unique (possibly vintage) braided cord was most likely used in the home decoration world.

Combining it with a classic gold rattail from our collection made this disk set up, one of the most unusual ones to date.  You can see that I was careful placing the thick braid into the slots.  By the end of my project the slots were still great and I did not do any damage to the disk.

This braid is so special!  The way the fibers were placed in the disk resulted in this shape.  The classic 8-strand braid pattern is what was used.

The biggest end cap in the Dazzle-it catalog is 12mm.  It fit on my braid because I placed it over the thinner sections.

The addition of these Swarovski Elements starfish made the bracelet special.

The starfish pendants were attached with jump rings to the exposed rattail cord.

The Dazzle-it Website has the complete catalog online.  You can also read more about our kumihimo line here.

 

Kumihimo Double Wrap Bracelet

My new wrap bracelet makes me smile as soon as I view our semi-precious gemstone laughing buddha bead.

Our Dazzle-it kumihimo disk, bobbins and rattail are in Michaels and I wanted to encourage you to take a peak at all the other fibers you can find in the store to use in our disk too.

To make a simple, but very beautiful eight strand kumihimo braid, you need the following.

1.  Our kumihimo disk.  It comes with instructions and you will find many many videos, how-tos and advice online as well.

2. A selection of interesting fibers.  Our classic rattail is perfect for braiding, but you can try other fibers too.  Just be gentle loading them into the foam disk slots.

3.  To “tie off” an end before cutting your braid to size, you need a good thread.

4.  Depending on how you want to finish a braid, these classic closures are ideal.

5.  Endcaps are available in many sizes and shapes.  These are my favorite and you simply glue them onto your braid.

6.  Jump rings to attach your closures.

7.  My laughing buddha bead has been wired so I can use it as a dangle.

My double wrap looks so pretty!

Our kumihimo disks and accessories are in Michaels.

Here is a closer look at a glued in place endcap.

Dazzle-it Kumihimo in Michaels

I was in my local Michaels craft store yesterday and noticed that a few of our rattail colours for kumihimo were sold out.

It reminded me that I could show you how to use a combination of fibers to make a gorgeous kumihimo braid.  As long as you have our Dazzle-it Kumihimo disk, you can create unique braids all the time.  You can see here that I did use our pink rattail, but I also added in some wool, beaded string and cotton cord.

The more you experiment, the better the braid!

This latest kumihimo braid needs no embellishment.  I am wearing it just as it is.