I love to embellish my small cases with braids and thin woven bands as well as beads. It’s one of those “slow craft” things. I enjoy the finishing and making all the seams and edges perfect. Back in the day when I produced and sold many woven tapestry purses, I didn’t take this approach. But now that I make them to give away or to design new products to inspire you, I have slowed way down. And now I enjoy the weaving and the finishing just as much.
In this post I want to introduce you to weaving a thin silk band and making a braid.
Let’s start with the woven band. I don’t even use a shedding device, but you can. Mine is ten warps wide. I have used the Maysville Carpet Warp at 18 ends per inch. I am going to weave as much as I can, which looks like it will be 28 inches. I am not sure even how I will use it. I imagine I will end up cutting it up into smaller strips. But I will have to wait for the purse weaving to be finished. I am also going to be making another smart phone case with silk sari strips, and I hope to have some left over woven band for that, but if not I will make some more.
The top middle is an example of pick and pick technique (alternating two colors) on top. Below that I have woven over double warps also using pick and pick.
To there right and below is an example of weaving sumak (wrapping around each warp).
Below is an example of how I used s woven strip like this in a previous weaving (one that was all Soumak technique using silk sari strips, which is the project I will tackle after I finish weaving the silk purse . . . although maybe I will start it before I finish the purse!)
As for braiding . . . I love it. And I especially love the portable kumihimo disks or plates that are really cheap and you can take anywhere. I used the square plate and wove a flat braid. There are two options with this plate: a ten strand or an eight strand braid. I will show you examples of both. The Kumihimo plate comes with instructions for both. It also comes with four bobbins of silk and eight bobbins on which to wind the silk. If you are using ten bobbins you will need to purchase some more. I use the braids for straps as well as trim.
Here is the ten strand braid:
This is an example of an eight strand braid:
A braid used as trim.
So next time you find yourself waiting somewhere, why not bring along a very portable kumihimo plate or disk to make those embellishment braids for your next Smart Phone purse.