#25 - A Lace Bend Round,  #27 - A Lace Chain Broad,  #30 - A Round Chevron,  #38 - A Grene Dorge,  12th century belt,  12th century projects,  Finger Braiding,  Projects

12th century belt for my 12th century wedding dress – thinking about finger braided cord…

2015-12 - Racaire - 12th century belt - pearl embroideryNow, that the pearl embroidery for my very first 12th century belt project is already finished, I have to think about a suitable cord for the two ends of my belt. This is especially important as I need to attach the cord firmly to the basic material of my belt before I can add the last layer of fabric to cover up the backside of my belt.

Well, I don’t think that my body will actually cause a lot of tension to the cord or the belt during normal wear but you know one of my most important mottos – better safe than sorry! 😀

What brings me back to the actual topic of this posting – the cord I need for the next step for my 12th century belt project!

Though I am not really good at finger braiding, I decided to go with a self-made cord rather than one which I could so easily buy at one of the local craft stores. Well, don’t take me wrong, there is nothing bad about store bought cord but when you can do it yourself… And, yes, this 12th century belt project as well as my period inspiration for this project inspired me to strive for a little more than store bought cord… 🙂

But at the same time I have to admit that this step – making the finger braided cord – did cost me some sleepless nights as I still can’t figure out how they made the one for the 12th century piece which I adore so much… Though it gave me an idea which I might try out as soon as I can get hold of the hands of a willing friend or husband… 😉

And now let’s take a look at my first test run concerning finger braided cord – enjoy! 😀


For my very first test run for this 12th century belt project and because I haven’t done any finger braiding for quite some while, I decided to give following braided cords a try:

#25 – A Lace Bend Round
#27 – A Lace Chain Broad
#30 – A Round Chevron
#38 – A Grene Dorge

And here my results:

  • #30 is – in comparison to the other cords – rather time demanding and a little bit more difficult to make.
    The result does not really convince me.
  • #38 is quite easy to make but doesn’t really have the look I would like to go for. But I will definitely use if for a pouch project in the future!
  • #25 and #27 are rather easy to make and quite similar concerning the braiding process – definitely my favorites so far – especially #25. 🙂

And here a closer look at the finger braided cords for you:


My initial thought was to use some of my silk threads from the Handweaver Studio in London for the final cord. But after finishing the finger braided cords which you can see on the picture above, using some of the spare cotton thread I had on hand, I think that I have to abstain from the silk threads as the resulting cord would be far too thin for my purpose.

Furthermore my brain is still working on a period cord “riddle”: How can I make a braid which I can stop about half way and divide into 2-3 single braids… But this is a quite nice intellectual pastime which occupies my brain and though there is a good chance that it might not get resolved, I enjoy thinking about it… 😉

And last but not least I also have a book recommendation for you:

2016-03-31_RacaireTAK V BOWES DEPARTED
A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined

by Elizabeth Benns & Gina Barrett

If you are interested into finger braiding, this book is definitely a must have! But unfortunately I have to warn you – it might not be easy to find a copy of this book as it is already out of print for quite some time.

Btw. if you wondered about the numbers and the braid names I used above – all above shown finger braided cords were braided according to the detailed instructions of this book. 🙂 

I hope you enjoyed my most recent progress for my very first 12th century belt project. I will let you know as soon as I made some decisions about the final finger braided cord I want to use for this project.

Best regards Racaire