Method

Approximate Equipment cost

Pros

Cons

Comments and references


Single-hook on hand or electric drill: folding method


$30


Low cost


Folding methods are very difficult without a helper. A very long work space is needed (4 times the final cord length). Time consuming.


See Peter Collingwood's description in Weavers (available free online) or Linda Hendrickson's discussion on the HGA website.


Single-hook on hand or electric drill: parking-hook method


$30


Low cost. Much easier and less demanding of space than the folding method. 


Special care is needed to assure that each ply has the same degree of twist.


Julie Hedges Ply-split Braiding: An introduction..... This excellent book may be purchased in the USA from Louise French and in England from the author.


Drill-powered 4-hook cord maker


$174 plus cost of the drill


Fast, uniform, easy tension control. Best for making many cords.


Noisy due to electric drill, a bit heavy if not using sled and table or other support for the drill.

 
Bradshaw cord makers may be purchased from Louise French.


Lacis Cord Maker/Fringe Twister


$50


Light and portable, low cost


Battery life is limited. Only makes Z-twist cords and has small hooks. Not acceptable for making many cords, but OK for casual or travel use.


Cord Maker/Fringe Twister available from Lacis and many craft suppliers. 


Hand fringe twister.


$20


Low Cost


Tedious. Slow. Non-uniform as tension cannot be reliably maintained and the threads tend to pull out of the alligator-clips.


Not acceptable for the long cord and tight twists needed for ply-split braiding.


Spinning wheel plying


$0 assumes ownership of a spinning wheel.


Low Cost


No success reported


While theoretically possible, we have yet to hear reports of cords made with an even and tight enough twist on a spinning wheel.

Making Cords for Ply-Split Braiding

An Overview

Well made, evenly twisted and plied cords are essential for ply-split braiding, and making cords is one of the key components of this braiding. While we cannot describe in detail all the fine points of cord making, our intent is to survey the methods and equipment to assist you in finding the right method for your needs.  These tools are alternately called cord makers, cordmakers, cord twisters, and rope makers.

 

For more information on a few of these methods, see
Cordmaking Expanded Information

Cordmaking Overview

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