Techniques of Ply-Split Braiding

Ply-Split Braiding is an ancient art originating in the desert of northwestern India and in some parts of South America. In India this unusual braiding is used to make elaborate camel girths and other animal regalia of hand-spun goat hair, wool or sometimes cotton.  Unlike weaving or other forms of braiding where cloth is formed by threads interlacing in an over-under sequence, in ply-split braiding one plied cord passes through another plied cord or cords splitting the plies.  Pattern is formed by the placement of cord color and the order in which cords are split. Contemporary knowledge in western culture dates to academic studies in the 1970’s, particularly in England.

Today, this technique is used by fiber artists to create handmade decorative items including neckwear, bags, household d├ęcor, garments and three-dimensional structures such as baskets and sculptures.  All that is required is a gripfid and some cords.

The Technique

Splitting the Plies

Create patterns by selecting split orders
 and cord colors.

Splitting the plies

Creating pattern for ply split braiding

The Basic Tools

A gripfid tool that splits the plies and pulls a cord back through other cords

A cordmaker to twist yarn into cords

Gripfid Tool for splitting the plies

Cord twisting with a Bradshaw cord maker

It is easy to get started doing this yourself!
See our advice:




      Ply-Split Braiding gripfids, cords, cord makers, books. 
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Ply Split Braiding  Louise French