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:
A quick search gave many tutorials, the following was great:
It would make an excellent valentines gift!
Step 1: Tools and materials
- Something tubular and sturdy to weave around.
- I used a 10mm drill bit.
- This is a board with sequentially smaller holes drilled through.
- I used 11mm-7mm holes in a pine off cut.
- Flicking around the pointy end of a length of wire will end in tears (or ocular tears).
- 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.
- Can be made with the same wire as the weave
Step 2: Starting the weave
- 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.
Step 3: 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
- 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
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
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
âI 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.
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.