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:
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). They can be picked up for not a lot, I prefer the lighter ones: Amazon link
- 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
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
Using the weave for jewellery
I bought two snake weave bracelets, connect one of the jump rings on the weave to the loopy end of one of the bracelets. I removed 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 used a clasp. The extended loop is heavier than the weave which means it doesn't spin round all the time.