Introduction: How to Make a Handmade Fiber Cordage Bracelet
Cordage is a rope made from a group of yarns, fibers or strands that are twisted or braided together into a larger and stronger form. The cordage is thicker and stronger than the original yarn, fiber or twine.
Cordage has been around for a long time. It was used by people a long time ago to make a strong rope out of natural materials. These materials were not strong enough on their own. Egyptian people were most likely the first people to make cordage back in 4000 to 3500 BCE. They were often made out of extracted fibers from water reeds. You can read about the history of cordage here.
A more modern cordage material is the inner bark of the basswood tree. This inner bark is not what you would expect, it's a stringy fiber instead of the hard bark of a tree you would see more commonly.
To get the bark, they soaked 3-5ft. cut logs in a pond. After a few days, they were soft enough to peel each thin layer of the inner bark off, resulting in thin fibers.
In this article, I will teach you how to make cordage for a bracelet using fibrous twine!
- Fiber twine
- Bracelet Charms (Optional)
- Your hands and/or prosthetic body part(s)
Step 1: Find Your Twine
This is a very short step, but necessary.
Find a twine that looks very natural, this will help the process of twisting it and will look better done. If there are little threads of fiber that are sticking out or it is a brown color, it's probably made out of natural materials. You should be able to find the twine you're looking for at your local hardware store or craft store
Step 2: Prepare the Twine
Tie a knot at the top of the twine about one inch from the top. This will make it so you can hold it above the knot.
Step 3: Twist the Cordage
This is the most difficult step, so I added a video to help explain. Definitely watch to the end, where I show a faster way to make the cordage using your mouth, but you have to do it the first way with your hands for the first few inches. Also, remember that the cordage is shorter than the original piece of twine so get a good long piece.
Using your Hands:
- Hold the knot at the top with your left hand (I'm left-handed but I learned it the right-handed way, so if you're right or left, learn it this way!) and hold parallel to the ground.
- Take the string farthest away from you and twist it clockwise ⟳ tight.
- While keeping it wound up, move that string over and on top of the other string.
- Now the other string will be the farther one.
- Now go back to step 2 to repeat until done.
Using your Mouth:
Do the same thing you would do for your hands, but bite the string with your mouth. Bite it about 1 inch above the place you're working. Move your bite every time you get an inch or so further.
Step 4: Tie the Bracelet
Then once you make the cordage you can cut it to a size that fits your hand or neck and tie it any way you like!
Participated in the
Rope & String Speed Challenge