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Bugle Braid

Bugle Braid

Description: The Bugle Braid is a historical knot often used to make straps for musical instruments.

It's also been used in the military, so it's sometimes called the Military Bugle Cord or Bugler's Strap.

I've seen this design in a vintage Macrame book written in the late 1800s, so it's been around for a long time.

Like the Chain Sennit, you use one end to form bights that slide into one another. But in this decorative knot, you pass through two loops instead of one. This makes the sennit stronger and more closely woven than the regular Chain Sennit.

I recommend you practice this technique with Paracord or Satin first, since they are both somewhat slippery, making the process easier.



This technique was found on the Fusion Knots website.

Click on the link or image to visit the site. 

Be sure to see the video gallery, where you will find tutorials for this and other interesting knot designs.

  Fusion Knots Website

Preparation:  You need one cord, at least 45 inches long, to practice the Bugle Braid. 

When using it in a Macrame project, you need 10 x the finished length you plan to make for just the braiding.  Add extra material if you need to tie the ends together to form a closure, such as in a belt design.

Read Cord Preparation to learn how to prepare Paracord if you intend to use it.

Two Loops

Step 1: Fold the cord 6 inches from one end, if you are just practicing.  (See tip below for more details)

Mentally label it Loop 1.

Wrap the 6-inch segment around the long portion of the cord, rotating under - over.   Label it as Loop 2.


Designer's Tip:  Step 1 can be changed if you need extra length at this end of the Bugle Braid.  Assuming that you cut extra material, you can just fold the cord where you want the braiding to begin. 

Please remember that for every inch of braiding, you need 10 inches of material.  So take that into consideration when determining where to start.

Loop 3

Wrap the short segment around a second time, to the left of Loop 2.  Mentally label it Loop 3

The end of the short segment should be heading toward the back of your board.


Short End

Step 2: Pass the end of the short segment through Loops 3 and 2, moving left to right.


  Tighten Loop 2 by pulling on Loop 3

Secure the cord by placing a pin through Loop 2.  Remove any other pins.


Step 3:  Fold the long segment (working end) to form a bight.  Mentally label it Bight 4.

Make sure you can clearly identify Loops 1 and 3.

Thru Loops

Pass Bight 4 under Loop 3 heading right to left. 

Then pass it through Loop 1 over - under (from the top).



Pull the short segment to tighten Loop 3.


Step 4:  Tighten Loop 1 by pulling on the area indicated, which rests next to the short end of the cord.

Make sure you keep it loose enough for the next bight to fit under it. 

Pull Bight

Pull the bight to tighten the area to the right of the loops.

Then pull the working end to reduce the size of the bight.

Next Bight

Step 5: Fold the working end to form a new bight, and
mentally label it Bight 5.

Pass it under Loop 1.

Bring it through Bight 4 over - under

Repeat Step 4 to tighten Bight 4 (loosely).



Designer's Tip:  As you continue with the Bugle Braid, here are some things to pay attention to:

  • Fold the working end carefully, making sure it's not twisted.
  • Pass each new bight through the two previously made.  Pass under the one partially tightened, and through the one that is loose.
  • Try to tighten each bight the same, so the braid is the same all the way down it's length. 
  • Keep the sennit on a surface until you feel comfortable, then you can pick it up as you work. You will need to bend it periodically so it lies flat.


Step 6:  Repeat step 5 several times, until you are almost out of material, or have reached the size you were planning to make.

The mental numbering of the new bights will increase with each step.

Working End
  Step 7: Pass the working end through the last two bights to complete the braid.

Repeat step 4 to tighten.

  Turn the Bugle Braid over so you can see the front, and bend it so it lies flat.

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Have any comments about the Bugle Braid? Contact Me.