How to Braid a Four Strand Leather Rope Braid
I hope these pictures help with learning how to do this braid. It is relatively easy after you know how.
I use cow leather here, 2.5-3.5 oz. The width of the strands depend on how big a diameter strand you wnat to end up with. Length again is how long you will need it. First cut the strands in uniform width, four in all. I leave the top attached for ease of handling. Next i wet the leather slightly, it should be slightly damp, not wringing wet. When you braid remember to keep uniform tension on the strands, you can NOT go back and fix the mistake unless you are willing to unbraid and rebraid.
Here is a picture of the slightly damp strands before I started braiding:
Fold the piece in half.
Cross the strands on both sides, always keep the skin side out and the flesh side in.Take the strand on the right and go over, on the back take the one on the right and go under.
Take the strand from behind on the side with the top strand and fold it over that strand.
Now take the strand from the front on the other side and bring it all the way around the back to the opposite side.
Now you do the same put on the opposite side….take the strand on the back and go over the top strand on the front.
Take the other strand on the front…take it around the back.
Here is a picture of it braided a short length.
This may seem confusing in the beginning…and it is. Just keep trying and it will be worth your trouble.
The last thing to do is to get the strand damp again, place it on a hard surface ( a clean kitchen floor sounds good ) and roll witha small board or similar flat object. I know this sounds strange and I balked but it’s a must. The strand will smooth out and really become gorgeous.
More information is available in these books:
Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding by Bruce Grant
How to Make Whips by Ron Edwards
Both are great books and explain how to braid better than I can. If you are serious about learning and working with leather they are a must have.
I hope I have been able to help a little here. If this needs more explaining or is confusing please tell me. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Email me at ally_sin _ at _ hotmail.com