An Introduction to Structures in Ply-Split Braiding

An Introduction to Structures in Ply-Split Braiding | Weaving

An Introduction to Structures in Ply-Split Braiding

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There are only a small number of old men in the desert in India and Pakistan who still practice ply-split braiding. In the past, men made plied cords from goat hair, and then ply-split the cords into girths and necklaces for their camels. They also created several types of ply-split bags and holders which were hung up to keep pots and bowls out of the reach of children and animals. We can keep this wonderful craft alive by using their techniques in new ways. The same techniques are being used by contemporary fiber artists, using different materials, to create a dizzying array of two- and 3-dimensional works. Since cords for ply-split braiding can be made from anything that can be twisted and plied, contemporary artists can use yarn in any plant or animal fiber, torn fabric strips, and even fishing line.

Using prepared cotton cords, students will make several colorful braids on keyrings to learn and understand ply-split structures that can be used to make jewelry, rugs, baskets, and sculptural works. SCOT (single-course oblique twining) lends itself to curvy and organic shapes. POT (plain oblique twining) produces the sturdiest and firmest fabric. TLOI (two-layered oblique interlacing) is used to produce geometric and pictorial images, including letters. Twined linkings are used to change the direction of a cord, or to create a stretchy fabric.

Students are welcome to bring their own gripfid and cord. Once you sign up, Linda will email you more detailed information. If you are you new to ply-split braiding, materials can be ordered from the instructor but they need to be placed WELL in advance of this workshop as she makes them all herself.

  • $12 Gripfid (tool for ply-splitting)
  • $4 Cord kit for the Waves braid (single-course oblique twining)
  • $4 Cord kit for the Whirligig braid (plain oblique twining)
  • $8 Cord kit for the TLOI sampler (two-layered oblique interlacing)
  • $6 Cord kit for Twined Interlinkings (twined linkings used exclusively)

Date & Time:

Tues & Weds, May 19th & 20th

CLASS TIME: 10 am - 4 pm


Linda Hendrickson


$190 + Materials (to be ordered ahead of time)