Brooch Weaving

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Hi, dear instruction seekers! I hope you are excited to get started with weaving!

Today, you're gonna learn a technique called coiling technique. One of the four main basketry waving techniques. Also known as African weaving style.

I am Ana and I'm the person behind this instruction. I am very excited to introduce you to this technique!

Coiling technique is an easy technique to follow, especially if it is done in one color. By following it, we are going to make a continuous spiral that is going to be the basic form of our brooch.

To get started with weaving this brooch you're going to need very few materials and approximately 2.5 hours. You don't need a loop!

MATERIAL:

synthetic rope,

raffia,

a needle,

a lighter

brooch needle,

and beads of any kind you like.

A ROPE: The brooch is not supposed to be very big, that's why the rope shouldn't be very thick. The thickness I suggest is 6-7 mm so we can form 3.5 rounds of a circle, ending with the with of a spiral of 5 cm. Sometimes the end of a rope can be very messy. Before starting, cut the end of the rope and heat it with a lighter around the edge. The heat is going to melt the long threads and make the end a bit harder and less messy.

A NEEDLE: The needle you are going to need is any needle with a big eye but if you are not so careful generally, please, avoid needles with a sharp ending and instead use a needle without it.

Step 1: Starting a Spiral

To start a spiral take the rope and place it on the table. It is good to sit at the table while you're weaving in order for your hands to have more space and can move freely backward and forward.

Take a piece of raffia and put its end 2-3cm inside the rope, opposite of the end of the rope. Now, start wrapping the rope with raffia going from you and to the front until you wrap 5-6 cm and can form a small spiral. The spiral should be big enough so you can easily hold it. Pay attention as the shorter spiral has a tendency to unroll and is very difficult to hold. In the beginning, you are going to feel tension and spasm in your fingers but be patient, after you secure your spiral it is going to be much easier to maneuver it. At this point, the spiral is probably going to have two circles.

TIPS:

- every wrap of raffia should be as close as possible to the previous one. The ideal would be if the rope doesn't show from underneath.

Step 2: Securing the Spiral

At this point, we are going to start using the 8 stitch for securing the spiral, that is shown in the photo above.

Put a needle at the end of a raffia string. For securing a spiral you need a little bit of patience in the start.

Hold the spiral with your left hand ( if left handed), the raffia should be hanging down from the outside edge of the spiral.

Put raffia string, from underneath, in between the first, outer circle, and the middle one. Now raffia is in between two circles of the spiral. Go over the middle circle to the middle hole of the spiral. Then, from underneath, go with the needle up, again in between these two circles. After you go up and over the outer circle you are going to appear in the same position as when you started securing the spiral. Now, from underneath go with your needle up, in between the circles. You have formed number 8 around the ropes. This is going to be our security stitch. If you feel that the secured point is not enough strong repeat the 8 stitch. If you are satisfied, just go over the rope out from your body and you will appear in the same position as when you started securing the spiral.

Now, we will continue the 8 stitch as many times as possible, not in the same spot but going from the outside in the center and from the center towards you and back. Repeat this many times and you are slowly going to see the difference in how strong the spiral became.

Once when you are satisfied with the result, go to our starting position from this step, and continue wrapping the coil. You will probably need to wrap 6-7 times. Then it will be the time for another 8 stitch to secure your spiral.

After every 6-7 wraps, you will do the 8 stitch.

TIPS:

-when you start making your spiral maybe the rope is going to be seen in the middle. Don't worry, this is something that you can correct while securing the spiral, just simply wrapping raffia around until you cover the rope.

Step 3: Continuing Raffia String That Came to the End

When, at one point, your raffia string finishes you will need to continue it.

How you will do it? Plan continuing the string when you come to 10-12 last cm. Wrap around the rope and make a knot. Tighten the knot and place the extra, raffia string to follow the bare rope. Like at the very beginning when you set at the table.

Now place another string the same way, come close to the place where wrapped raffia stopped and continue wrapping. Every time when you make 6-7 wraps, secure the spiral with the 8 stitch.

TIPS:
- when you wrap raffia around the rope, raffia string on its own tends to wrap itself. Mentioning this was not important at the beginning but at this point, how spiral becomes bigger, you will maybe want to pay attention to it. When raffia string wraps around the string it becomes rounded and thinner, and the gaps in between wrapped string may show. If you want to avoid it, from time to time, lift what you're doing up, in the level of your head and straighten the string. Now it is going to be flat again. Continue with care.

Step 4: Making the Spiral Bigger

In order to make the spiral bigger, we are going to wrap raffia 6-7 times around the rope, and secure new positions with the 8 stitch. Do the 8 stitch twice if you feel that the spiral needs a stronger connection. Continue enlarging the spiral until the diameter becomes 5-6 cm.

Step 5: Finishing the Spiral

Now is the time to slowly finish our spiral.

It is very important what you are going to do with your raffia string now. Because, if the finish is not correct your ending is going to collapse immediately or after some time.

So what we are going to do? No matter where was the last 8 stitch, we are going to make one more at the very end. We repeat the procedure 3 times, if needed until it feels tight enough. Then we take the needle with the string inside and put it backward under raffia, for 2 cm. After you're done, take the needle out and cut raffia, as close to the spiral as possible.

Now we can cut the rope, leaving it up to 0.5 cm longer. The bare rope that stayed melt with a lighter, carefully, forming a harder and less messy ending, as we did at the very beginning. Be careful not to burn raffia because it burns easily.

Step 6: Adding Raffia Decoration on the Side

By adding raffia decoration on the side of our spiral we are slowly finishing weaving our brooch.

Take a long string of raffia and attach a needle to it. The folded piece of the string, that is going through the needle, shouldn't be so long in order not to get stuck while weaving. Decide how wide the decoration is going to be. The one I'm showing you is 3 cm wide. We start counting from the end of the spiral.

Now, put the needle, from the back, through the gap in between the last and previous circle, 2 -2.5 cm from the end of the rope. Leave 10 cm long string behind. Then, holding your pointing finger behind and over the string, leaned on the spiral, make a sort of scissors with other fingers, keeping a distance of 3cm. Hold your fingers in this position while wrapping raffia around your fingers and through the spiral. Tighten your fingers to the spiral. Repeat this wrapping until you reach the end of the rope. And a few times more.

For these last ones ( 2-3) go with your needle a bit through the previous, wrapped circle. Continue a few stitches going out of the edge of the rope until you stop seeing it, looking from above. You secured your raffia string well.

If at this point you want to add more raffia on the side, I'm sure that you already know how to do it.

When done, just cut the string to the same length as the previous ones.

You will cut that wrapped part that you just made around your fingers and leave the length until you decide, later, how long that part is going to be. Mine is about 5 cm long.

I made 2 samples for you. One is just cut straight and to the other one I gave a haircut. You will do whatever you prefer.

Now we should simply weave through the strings. How we are starting his part? Again, like at the very beginning, you place raffia string ( 2cm) opposite, in between added strings of our side decoration. And you go up and down through the strings forming a simple weave, or a sew, better said, till the end and then you repeat it backward. Just, this time, you are going to weave over the gaps that had left. When you are done and satisfied, put the needle through the rope and cut the extra part.

Step 7: Adding the Brooch Needle

To add the brooch needle place your brooch on the table and find the best position for it. The best would be close to the middle of the whole brooch.

Now, when you know the place, start sewing the brooch needle with raffia onto the brooch. Try to be as precise as possible so the needle is completely covered with raffia. This is going to make your brooch look professionally made.

Step 8: Decorating the Brooch

For decorating, you can use whatever you like. I personally like a bigger, round piece of ceramic or glass...

Now is your time to try what you have learned and use these skills to connect the bids, or bigger decoration to the brooch.

TIPS:

If I use a big piece of decoration, I simply glue it with super glue. Maybe, sometimes, a big piece is going to have a hole. Find a nice, esthetic way to connect the piece to the brooch.

If you decide to use smaller beads, maybe the simple, thin thread for sewing is going to be the best. Choose the appropriate color, so you hide your sewing or some contrasting color to highlight sewing. Maybe the sewed part is going to be part of your decoration.

I hope you had fun making this brooch.

Wear it with pride on a nice, sunny day. Keep it with care and love. Wear it with a smile. You made this!

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6 Discussions

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jessyratfink

18 days ago

That's really beautiful! Never seen this technique before. :)

1 reply