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Ready-made Cords for Ply-Split Braiding


Pearl Cotton Cords in Eleven Colors

Part of the fun and creativity of ply-split braiding is making your own cords. It is a great way to explore color and use yarn from your stash. Cords for ply-split braiding have been made from many fibers, from cotton to wool to paper. See Making Twisted Cords for Ply-Splitting for more information on making your own cords. 

Many would-be ply-splitters, however, want to buy a few cords to try this new technique before investing in a cord maker. We now offer cords in a limited selection of colors to meet this need. Our ready-made cotton cords are available in 11 colors.  All cords are Z-twist.
 Click here to order cords.


What Projects can I do? How many cords do I need?

4 cords 

One cord of each of four colors will make four key chains or bookmarks


For a quick start see "Portable, Addictive: Ply-Splitting!" by Louise French and Barbara J. Walker, Winter 2008 Issue of WeaveZine online magazine .  For more detail and similar projects see Julie Hedges' book: Ply-Split Braiding: An Introduction to Designs in Single Course Twining. Available here and elsewhere.


4 cords or more

One cord of each of four colors will make a Mug Mat, coaster, or Trivet as shown


Mats can be made the same way the bottom of baskets are made. See Julie Hedges' book: Ply-Splitting in 3-Dimensions. Available here and elsewhere.

Also see mats or trivets in "Learn Ply-Splitting with Two Summer Trivets" by Barbara Walker in Handwoven March-April, 2011.


6 cords or more

Necklaces, hat bands, and more

A variety of necklaces and other projects may be made with this many cords.See Julie Hedges' book: Ply-Split Braiding: An Introduction to Designs in Single Course Twining for inspiration. Available here and elsewhere.

11 or more cords


Ply-split Baskets.  Scarab-PeriwinklePly-split baskets.  Periwinkle-Raisin  

Baskets typically require 11 or more cords. See “A Tisket, a Tasket, a Ply-Split Basket”, by Louise French in Handwoven, November/December 2011.  More basket ideas can be found in J ulie Hedges' book: Ply-Splitting in 3-Dimensions. Available here and elsewhere.


36 cords


For large baskets, like the one pictured here and shown in the Handwoven article, it is much more economical (and fun!) to buy a cord maker  and make your own cords.  This particular basket required seven different cord colors and a total of thirty-six 136-inch cords.  See Hints for Large Basket.

Colors and Materials 

Our cords are made from UKI Supreme pearl (mercerized) cotton yarn and correspond to the UKI Supreme mercerized cotton yarn colors (see their color chart). . Each four-ply cord is approximately 136 inches long and made of four Z-twist plies with a 15% take-up. Cord diameter is approximately 3 mm (1/8 inch). This size is well suited to our medium-sized (4.5 mm) gripfid and is the size used in the examples above. 
We offer cords in eleven colors: 

Purple Passion
Deep Turquoise

NOTE:  Due to the variation of computer displays, the color on your screen may not be an exact match to the cord colors.  
Click here to order cords
   See instructions to apply aglets and cut the cords to the needed lengths.

We regret we don't have the resources to offer custom cords colors or lengths.



Because most of the projects you select use many shorter cords, you will need to add aglets and cut the cords. Aglets are the narrow stiffer ends of cords like the end of a shoelace. There are many ways to form them. See for example Ian’s Shoelace Site

Most ply-split braiders prefer to make an adhesive tape aglet or to use glue on the cord. Apply the aglet before cutting the cord.

Tape method: Hold the cord under tension.  Apply a piece of adhesive-backed tape to the cord and with your thumbs and forefingers on the tape, roll the cord and tape until the tape wraps around the cord. The tape should wrap around the cord about two times. In the case of our pre-made cords, this is 1 inch long by ˝ inch wide. We find that packaging tape or blue masking tape works well.

Glue method:  A PVA glue such as Elmer’s Glue-All is often used for aglets. Apply to the cord under tension and let it dry before cutting. The disadvantage of this method is the required drying time. Do not use instant glues or solvent glues. They are a hazard to fingers and are a hazard to air quality.

Whatever method you use, cut the cord in the middle of the aglet thus forming two ends for ply-splitting.







Contact Louise by e-mail at louise @ louisefrench.com               
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