Braiding … Take aways

The 2 month recap is a mess, so here’s the run down…

For flat braids

  • Start with cheap Imperial Synthetic flat braid, don’t cut your own unless you have it already at $8 – $12 you can not go wrong with a reel of black & another of white.
  • Get one of those clamps or a post on a board to anchor your braids with it
  • I use cheap key rings to start my braids, as key chains are low cost and labor intensive – which makes them decent to excellent profit margins.  If you are selling.
  • The braiding itself of about a foot or two will take about 20 – 30 minutes based on the material.
  • Finishing, which includes oiling/waxing/dampening the leather, rolling the flat braid smooth if you are doing that and feeding the braid back into itself for 3 to 5 passes can take another 15-25 minutes based on the material you are doing.
  • When done with a leather diamond or plaiting styles, you can roll it on a smooth surface with a board on top to make it lay down in to itself.  Adding a tiny bit of water or oil on a towel and wiping along the braided leather helps to shape the leather braid even smoother for less effort.  If using imperial synthetic, just roll it as described, it is so soft already it will keep it’s shape any ways…but I’ve never actually checked what happens…maybe the oil would break down the synthetic lace?
  • Watch out for bonded leather, especially as you work with thinner widths such as smaller than 1/8″ wide lace.  Less oil / water when rolling it or none at all to ensure the bonded leather remains strong.
  • Move your way through the Tandy’s Leather cost structure using most of the reel of each type till you know how the various materials and widths work.  Then buy in to the $28 – $40 reels of lace.
  • If you want to make your own lace, utilize both youtube and the written walk throughs for better comprehension.

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