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Picture of Viking weave necklace and bracelet
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Similar to French knitting this is a surprisingly easy way to make woven wire cord for bracelets and necklaces!
I was looking for something interesting to make for my better half as a Christmas present and I stumbled across this very old method of wire weaving:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucet
http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/knittingnancys.html

A quick search gave many tutorials, the following was great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ynf5jjpL1U&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLEF355CEE40339342

It would make an excellent valentines gift!
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
Tools:
  • Mandrel
    • Something tubular and sturdy to weave around.
    • I used a 10mm drill bit.
  • Pulling board
    • This is a board with sequentially smaller holes drilled through.
    • I used 11mm-7mm holes in a pine off cut.
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses
    • Flicking around the pointy end of a length of wire will end in tears (or ocular tears).
Materials:
  • Wire
    • The weave in the front picture uses 20Ga.
    • For a first go try copper wire as it's often inexpensive.
    • Silver and gold coated copper provide an excellent combination of looks, bendyness and price.
  • Jump rings
    • Can be made with the same wire as the weave
  • Clasps

Step 2: Starting the weave

Picture of Starting the weave
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Starting loops
  • Take a length of spare wire approximately 300mm long.
  • Bend it into a four leaf clover shape.
  • Wrap the ends together.
  • Bend the leaves around your mandrel. 
Your starting loops need to be secure enough to align the first couple of rows and are used to pull the finished weave through the sizing block. Once your weave is finished you will need to unwind these loops.
 


Step 3: Weaving

Picture of Weaving
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Weaving
  • Bend your weaving wire 90o about 25mm from the end.
  • Hook this though one of your starting loops from back to front (see picture).
  • Take the other end of your weaving wire and loop from back to front on the next starting loop (see picture).
  • Don't worry too much about the tension, just keep the loops running parallel down the mandrel.
  • Continue until you run out of wire.

Step 4: Joining

Picture of Joining
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Joining a new length of wire into the weave
  • As you can't weave the wire on a spool and lengths several meters long are difficult to handle you'll need to join two or more lengths.
  • Thread the loose end of the original wire back up inside the weave, it may be easier to remove the wire from the mandrel.
  • Hook the new length around the above loop, similar to starting the weave.
  • I've used copper wire for the new length in the photos to make it easier to follow.

Step 5: Sizing

Picture of Sizing
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Sizing
Before the weave is finished it's drawn through a series of holes, this evens out the weave and sets the outer diameter. As a consequence the length of the weave changes.

Starting with the largest hole pull the weave through a couple of times, then decrease in size until the desired diameter is reached.

As a rough guide a weave pulled through holes down to 8mm diameter has 7 rows in 50mm when using 0.9mm thick wire, thus if you wanted a 200mm bracelet you'd need about 28 rows woven before drawing the weave.

Step 6: Finishing the ends

Picture of Finishing the ends
Finishing the ends

Once the starting loops are carefully unwound from the weave these top loops can be joined with a ring failry easily. The loops at the bottom end are a little more tricky, look for the points at which the wire crosses itself, the lowest point of each loop, and thread a ring through all four.

Step 7: Using for jewellery

Picture of Using for jewellery
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Using the weave for jewellery

Necklace:


​I bought two snake weave bracelets, connect one of the jump rings on your weave to the loopy end of one of the bracelets. Remove the clasp from the second bracelet and join the other end of the weave with the jump ring.

Bracelet:

I used a wrapped extended loop to get the bracelet sizing perfect and the clasp has to be heavier than the weave otherwise it'll spin around all the time.
Guzberi1 month ago
Great job, thanks for this.
I know where I have some copper wire to try this out ?
One question if I can,
Right at the start, a section of the wire is left inside the weave, Is it worth forming a loop on the pointed end of the wire to stop it from poking through the weave when the piece is finished, or, does this just not happen?
cbm104 (author)  Guzberi1 month ago

Hi,

Good idea, it wouldn't hurt to bend the end over, I don't think that bit has poked through yet but if something can go wrong it probably will eventually :)

rose_adamaj1 month ago
Can't believe it took me so long to see this ible, better late than never! I can't wait to try this - and if my nieces don't already know about this, they will be very excited as well. Thank you, your pictures & instructions are excellent.
Catia661 year ago
Thanks for helping me, I was just looking for it!
Would a bead cap, instead of the cap here work? I've got a few that are just simple clover shapes here; but they have a really nice stamped texture on them.
cbm104 (author)  spellwing7772 years ago
Ah, yes they would work great! It would give the first end a nice finish. I hadn't seen them before, thanks!
mother's day present! :D thank you so much!
Woohoo!! 5 stars for this... There's too much awesomeness involved and it's perfect for Valentine's Day :DD
cbm104 (author)  nutsandbolts_643 years ago
Cool! glad you enjoyed it :)
raviolikid3 years ago
This looks like an interesting craft! I'll give it a try sometime. Thanks for the good directions!
cbm104 (author)  raviolikid3 years ago
Thanks, glad it's useful!