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Round Braids

 
Style A

Style B

Style C


Description:  These Round Braids feature techniques that create four surfaces rather than two.  So they are not flat like other forms of braiding.  Think of them as round ropes made from two or more cords.

These designs can be used to make Paracord bracelets, choker style necklaces, dog collars and leashes, and much more.  Jump ropes and dog toys are sometimes made with the 4-cord and 6-cord styles. 

Multiple colors are used in the examples shown for instruction purposes, but they can all be made with fewer colors.

Each of the braids on this page increase in complexity.  The first one is easy to make, since it requires only 2 cords. The third one is challenging, since you are working with 6 cords.   It will take time and patience to master all three styles.  Be prepared to spend several hours practicing!


2018 Update:  This page replaces the Round Braid and the Modern Braids page.  The designs have now been combined to create this page.  Text and images were changed, so please contact me if you need either of those two pages in their original format.  
 
 
 
 
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Round Braids - Style A

 Style A

Description:  The first of the Round Braids you will learn is the easiest to make.  It's actually called the Round Braid, because most people use this version. 

The best way to start it is with a loop, which can be used as a clasp.  That's another reason why it's so popular.



Braid Bracelet

The Braid Bracelet is an easy project based on this technique.

Click on the image or link to view the page, if you wish to give it a try after practicing.




Preparation:  To practice the Round Braid, you need two cords, each at least 25 inches long.  

When using it in a Macrame project, the cords should be at least 4 x the finished length you wish to make. 



Cord A

Step 1:  Make a loop in the center of the first cord, crossing right over left. 

Mentally label it Cord A.

Arrange the two halves horizontally (next image).


 
Cord B

Step 2:  Slide Cord B through the loop, placing the center of it at the crossing point. 

The left half should pass over Cord A on the left and under it on the right.



Designer's Tip:  When first learning the Round Braids, I recommend you make them on a project board.  Later, try holding the cords in your hands. 

When you try this one in hand, Cord B folds around the front and back of the crossing point.  In other words, it will be sideways in comparison to the other cord.

 
 
Right over Left

Step 3: Cross the two halves of Cord B right over left to complete the loop (back over front if you are holding the cords).

Arrange each half horizontally.

 


Designer's Tip: After the second loop is tightened, adjust the size of the first loop to the length most appropriate for your project.

When using it as a clasp, 1/2-inch to 1-inch is usually the best size, depending on the thickness of the material.

4mm size Paracord was used for the Round Braids shown, so the best loop size was 3/4-inch.


 
Cord A
 

Step 4:  Move one half of Cord A over Cord B on the right. 

Move the other half under Cord B on the left.  

Cross the two halves of Cord A right over left, then arrange them horizontally.

 

 
Cord B
 

Step 5: Move one half of Cord B under Cord A on the right.  Move the other half over it on the left.

Note that this is the opposite of how you arranged Cord A in the previous step.

Cross the two halves right over left, then arrange them horizontally.

 


Here's the concept:

When using Cord A, the starting position of the two halves is always OVER on the right, and UNDER on the left.

When using Cord B, their position is always UNDER on the right, and OVER on the left.  (That would be in front on the left and behind on the right, if you were holding the cords).

The loop is always completed by crossing right over left (or back over front).


 
Repeat
 

Step 6:  Repeat steps 4 and 5 several times, until the Round Braid is the size you want.

Tighten each loop as you progress.

 


Square Knot


Step 7:  After you have made the last loop with one cord, bring the two ends of the other cord into position without crossing

Then tie a Square Knot with the cord used to make the last loop. This is optional, if you prefer to secure the braiding with a different knot.

 



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 Round Braids - Style B

 Style B

Description:  Style B is a 4-cord braid that features a maneuver called a "hook back".  You move each cord in two directions.  This results in four surfaces, making the braiding rounded rather than flat. 

The best way to start is at one end of the cords, but you can also begin in the center and work both directions. 

Another option is to make a stable loop with two folded cords, then start the braiding.  Add a button knot at the end to form a clasp.

I recommend you tighten as you progress, even if that means you need to use pins.  Usually you can make this braid in hand quite easily, once you understand the concept. That makes tightening a lot easier.
 

 
Preparation:  To practice, you need four cords at least 36 inches long.  Using different colors is extremely helpful. 

When making a project with any of these Round Braids, the cords should be at least 4 x the finished length you plan to make.  This gives you extra material for other knots if you need them. 



Overhand Knot

Step 1:  Tie an Overhand Knot near one end of the cords if you are practicing.  Secure the knot to your board.

When making a project, secure the cords in the most appropriate manner.

Mentally number the four cords.



Cord 3

Step 2:  Move cord 3 to the left, crossing over cord 2.

When starting at the center of the cords, you should secure the two cords at the crossing point.



Step 3:  Select the cord furthest to the RIGHT for this step (cord 4)

Move cord 1 aside, since it will be used in step 4.



Cord 4

Move cord 4 under cords 3 and 2 at the crossing point, heading right to left.

Hook it back to the right, passing over cord 3, which was moved in the previous step.

Arrange it between cords 3 and 2.  You can secure it if you wish.



Step 4:  Locate cord 1, which was moved aside in step 3.  It's furthest to the LEFT, so will be used in this step.

Move cord 2 aside, since it will be used in step 5.




Cord 1

Move cord 1 under the crossed area made in step 3, heading left to right.

Hook it back to the left, passing over cord 4, which was moved in the previous step.

It should rest between cords 3 and 4.



The Round Braids each have a specific concept.  For this design, there are five elements:
  • Alternate between the cord furthest to the left or right when you choose which one to use for the current step.
  • Identify the cord that will be moved in the following step.  Move it off to the side.
  • Move the cord you are currently using UNDER the crossed area made in the previous step. It should be heading toward the opposite side from where it started.
  • Hook it back the other direction, passing OVER the cord moved in the previous step.
  • Arrange the cord between the two closest to it.  




Cord 2

Step 5: Locate cord 2, which is furthest to the RIGHT.  Move cord 3 aside, since it will be used in the next step.

Move cord 2 under the crossed area made in step 4, heading left to right.  Hook it back to the right, passing over cord 1 (moved in previous step). 

Arrange it between cords 1 and 4.



Cord 3

Step 6:  Locate cord 3, which is furthest to the LEFT.  Move cord 4 aside, since it will be used in the next step.

Move cord 3 under the crossed area, heading right to left.  Hook it back to the left, over cord 2

Arrange it between cords 1 and 2.



Step 6, continued:  The cords are now in the positions they were when you started braiding (step 3). 

Round Braids are supposed to be well tightened, so pull each cord firmly to eliminate any gaps between them.



Repeat

Step 7:  Repeat steps 3 - 6 at least one more time if you are just practicing.  Round Braids look better if they are long.

When making a project, continue until the braiding is the length you need.



Secure

Step 8:  You will need to secure the braid with some type of finishing knot.

Since you started with an Overhand knot, you can finish with one.   Great option for dog toys!




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Round Braids - Style C

Style C

Description:  Round Braids get more complicated as you add more cords, and this one is a real challenge.   It's made with six cords, and is much harder to untie than the other two designs.

You will need to construct the braid on a project board, since pins are needed to help identify certain cords.  Use as few pins as possible.

It's better to tighten Round Braids as you progress.  In the example shown, the braiding was done more loosely than it should have been, so photos could be taken.

You should start near one end of the cords.  Starting at the center makes things more complicated, since you need to reverse direction.   



Secure

Step 1: When practicing, tie an Overhand knot with all the cords in a bundle, close to one end.

Secure the knot to your board.  Mentally number the cords 1 - 6.  



Cord 1

Step 2:  Move the cord furthest to the LEFT (cord 1) under the four cords next to it (2 - 5), heading left to right diagonally.

Cord 6 is used in step 3, so move it aside or secure it.



Designer's Tip:  When making Round Braids, always anticipate which cord will be used in the following step.

Since you alternate between the cord furthest to the left or right, choose the appropriate cord and move it aside (or secure it).  



Hook Back

Hook cord 1 back to the left (arrows), passing over cord 5 and under cord 4.

Secure it between cords 3 and 4.

 
 
Cord 6

Step 3:  Move the cord furthest to the RIGHT (cord 6) under the four cords closest to it (5, 4, 1, 3), heading right to left diagonally.

Move cord 2 aside (or secure it), since it will be used in step 4.


 
Hook back

Hook cord 6 back to the right (arrows), passing over cord 3 and under cord 1 (moved in the previous step).

Secure it between cords 1 and 4.  You can remove the pin from cord 1.



Here's the concept: 

  • Always use the cord furthest to the right or left, alternating back and forth. 
  • The cord that will be used in the following step should be moved aside.
  • Move the cord you are currently working with under the four cords closest to it, heading in the opposite direction from where it starts.
  • Hook back the other direction, over - under the two cords closest to it. The cord you pass it UNDER will be the one moved in the previous step.  It's secured with a pin, so is easy to identify. 
  • Secure it next to the cord moved in the previous step.  There should always be two cords on either side of it (the 6th cord you moved aside doesn't count).



Cord 2

Step 4:  Locate cord 2, since it furthest to the LEFT.

Move it under the four cords closest to it (3, 1, 6, 4), heading left to right diagonally.

Move cord 5 aside, since it will be used in step 5.



Hook Back

Hook cord 2 back to the left, passing over cord 4 and under cord 6 (moved in the previous step).

Secure it between cords 1 and 6.  Remove the pin from cord 6.



Cord 5

Step 5:  Locate cord 5, since it is furthest to the RIGHT.  Move it under the four cords (4, 6, 2, 1) heading right to left diagonally.

Move cord 3 aside for the next step.



Hook Back

Hook cord 5 back to the right, passing over cord 1 and under cord 2.

Secure it between cords 2 and 6. Remove the pin from cord 2.


 
Tighten

Step 6:  Continue on, alternating between the cords furthest to the right and left.  The next cord you use will be cord 3, followed by cord 4. 

The cords will be in order again (1 - 6). 

Round Braids need to be tightened well, so this is the best place to stop and check the tightness.



Repeat

Step 7:  Repeat steps 2 - 6 at least one more time, if you are just practicing Round Braids.

Stop when the braid is the size you need, if you are making a project.

Secure the braid by tying an Overhand knot, or another type of finishing knot.


 


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Have any comments about the Round Braids? Contact Me.



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