Braided and Interlaced Trim From Birka

earlyperiod3The finds at Birka form a treasure trove not only of textiles but trims as well. One class of trims is composed of braided and interlaced bands. The simplest of these (Fig. A) is a three strand braid — the technique most widely used for braiding hair. Figure B is a four strand braid, and while it looks complicated, it can be easily figured out by using two different colors of yard as shown. Once you have managed A and B, the six-stranded band shown in Figure C should be only slightly more complicated. When braiding, the outside cords are alternated and become the inside cords. Fig. “D” is a five strand braid and forms a rounded cord when pulled tight.
If you would like to explore braided and interlaced trims some more, check your local library for books on finger weaving and braiding.

Sources:
Geijer, Agnes. Birka III: Die Textilfunde aus den Grabern. Uppsala, 1938.
Kent, Kate Peck. Prehistoric Textiles of the Southwest. School of American Research, 1983.

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