Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Resource! Fingerloop Braiding should be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn the craft of fingerloop braiding, which was used at least since the Middle Ages to make durable, attractive plain and multi-colored cords for laces and other clothing-related purposes. The site includes video and photo tutorials for making all kinds of fingerloop braids, including the three loop braiding technique I taught myself a few years ago as part of my Hedeby apron dress project.  

Now I'll know where to go when I have to refresh my recollection of how to do fingerloop braiding! 

EDIT (10/21/2013):  Check out the comments for the URLs of other web sites that have different, but equally useful, information about fingerloop braiding.


  1. Cathy - have you seen this one

    Between, and the net has fingerloop pretty well covered.

  2. Hi, Panth! No, I hadn't seen the page, and that's an excellent resource too, but of a different kind. The silkewerk page gives original directions from medeival manuscripts on fingerloop braiding (along with modernized descriptions of same), right? Since I've barely gotten my feet wet in the wonderful art of fingerloop braiding, detailed *and* illustrated how-tos are of particular interest to me. I was also interested in the three-loop tutorials on because of my efforts to make a six-strand (and 3-loop) braid for my Hedeby apron dress.

    Thanks for the URL, and your comment.

    1. IMO, the three are really useful for different reasons. is good for learning A-fell and for the basics of the medieval braids. Downside is it lacks many of the more complicated braids from the manuscripts. is good for learning V-fell, for learning how to do multi-braider braids as a solo braider, for learning colour patterns and most of all for learning how to understand the method (essential for devising your own colour patterns or your own braids). Downside is it is all V-fell, so you need to really understand how it works to be able to apply it to medieval braiding. is good for showing ALL of the medieval braid recipes (unlike, for comparing the braids in different manuscripts and for a bit of analysis on how the medieval braids work. Downside is that it is not necessarily a beginner's page - i.e. many of the braids only have the medieval recipe translated into modern English, it is assumed you will then understand what is meant.

    2. Now I must show my ignorance; what are A-fell and V-fell? I gather from your remark that V-fell was not typically used in medieval braiding, and I don't know much about the actual history of the technique.

      As you say, is not at all a beginner's page. may not be optimal for those who want their work to be accurate to the medieval period. You have made me curious enough to check out Thank you for the information you have provided.

    3. I think A- and V-fell refer to whether when making a flat braid whether you join the braid between the two hands at little finger to little finger or index finger to index finger. I.e. if you held your hands in a slope to indicate this, whether it would make the slopes of the A or the V.

      However, I have to admit that is totally inferred/guessed so I may be wrong. would be the place to ask to get a proper answer from someone who knows what they're talking about!

      A-fell was typically used in Western Europe. V-fell is typical pretty much everywhere else in the world.

    4. A-fell was typically used in Western Europe. V-fell is typical pretty much everywhere else in the world.

      At least now I understand your remark about V-fell. Thanks.

  3. Interestingly, has a blog entry describing the differences between the methods in some detail, here. confirms your statement about where A-fell and V-fell were used, and states that there was also a third method, Slentre, that "is only known from the Faroe Islands, and possibly Denmark." However, the page claims that "The current loop braiding revival is largely based on the A-fell method" and that Slentre "has also been widely taught in textile and craft circles." Make of that what you will.

    I'm also wondering whether, and how, it's possible to tell whether a braid has been made via the A-fell or V-fell method.

  4. The author of, Ingrid Crickmore, has one final interesting (to me) comment about Slentre braiding:

    Slentre may have originally been limited to the Faroe Islands. Jackie Wollenberg recently told me that although she learned it from someone in Denmark, that person had herself learned it from someone who had moved to Denmark from the Faroe Islands. (If the Faroe Islands are considered part of Scandinavia, that makes Scandinavia the only place in the world where all three of these parallel loop braiding methods have been found!)

    Of course, this by no means proves that fingerloop braiding goes back to the Viking age or that the Vikings used any particular braiding technique, but it provides excellent fuel for conjecture.

    Incidentally (with regard to the question with which I ended my last comment), Ms. Crickmore claims that all three fingerloop techniques can be used to make what she calls "simple, 2-pass fingerloop braids," but that V-fell technique is easier if you want to make braids that require more than 7 loops. She also is of the opinion that "flat and divided braids feel a bit more difficult to make" with Slentre technique.