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