Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Braid Society November 2015:

The Braid Society is a fantastic organisation for anyone interested in narrow wares - braiding, plaiting, band weaving, tablet weaving, sprang, etc.  There is a facebook page for the Braid Society on

It was founded in 1993 and has members around the world.  The aim of the Society is to promote the education and practice of the art and craft of making constructed or embellished braids and narrow bands. Next year is exciting as the 3rd International Braiding Conference is being held in Tacoma in the USA.

Check out my blog for details of the workshop that I will be running at the conference.

Click on this link to see what other workshops are on offer.
Booking is now open for Braid Society members.  Non-members will have to wait for a couple of weeks.


Here is the latest annual journal Strands.  I always look forward to it as there are so many different craft interests and so many interesting craft practitioners.

This edition is no exception.

Contents page

My article about the stunning Latvian belt from Lielvārde has an accompanying YouTube video to illustrate the weaving process. The Lielvārde belt: weaving motifs can be found at this link.

The article by Celia Elloitt-Minty is a wonderful detailed examination of some of the tablet woven textiles from the Hallstadt culture 850 - 450 BCE.  It is fascinating to see some of the motifs which also appear in patterned band weaving. Tablet weavers will be interested in the details of threading tablets explained by Gail Marsh.

There are three articles about different aspects of braiding. Barbara Walker describes one type of braid with six variations. Rosalie Neilson shares her red white and blue braids inspired by the US team at the Sochi Olympics and their sweaters. Jacqui Carey tells of her search for Naxi braids in China. The final article by Shirley Berlin looks at prayer ropes.  The instructions for making these lovely knotted strings are given in detail with an excellent series of photographs.  I will definitely be trying this technique for myself.

The centre pages are a set of beautiful photographs from the Braid Society Travelling Exhibition 2015. The theme for the exhibition was Spring is Sprung and the different interpretations of this are so colourful.

Curiosity and experimentation are such important foundations of innovation.  It is an inspiring issue, as usual.

Online discussion group. 

The Yahoo group Braids and Bands is a discussion group moderated by the Braid Society and primarily exists to provide members with information about Braid Society activities. Non members of the society with a genuine interest in braids and bands are also welcome to join this group. Members can ask questions about any narrow ware technique, or share details of their latest project. For details on how to join, go to the Braid Society home page.

I have organised five online workshop for Braids and Bands over the years.

I will be running another workshop next year for Braids and Bands.  I thought that it would be useful to go 'back to basics' and take a closer look at bands with 5, 7 and 9 pattern threads. The workshop will be useful for beginners but also remind more experienced band weavers that using only a few pattern threads, delightful bands can be produced.  I do not have a date for the workshop as yet as I am still working on the materials.  It will probably be later next year.

AGM of the Braid Society.

The AGM was held in a beautiful building in the centre of Leeds.  The facilities were excellent.  I was thrilled to be asked to give the talk in the afternoon.

I brought along examples of the bands that I have  woven and set up a display.  Here is one of my tables showing bands from Lithuania, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia.

One of my display tables showing bands that I have bought or woven myself.

The title of my talk

I am showing the fragment of a marriage band from Leksand Sweden dated to 1850. I am wearing the Delsbo belt from Sweden.
I wove this Lithuanian belt which I saw in the museum in St Petersberg, Russia. I am wearing a copy of it which I wove.

Examining some of the bands I used in my talk.  I am now wearing the Lielvārde belt from Latvia.
The Lielvārde belt I am wearing was made by Ziedonis Abolini.  You can see other examples of his beautiful work on their web site. 

Click here to go to the English page.!home/mainPage

It was a lovely day.

Susan J Foulkes November 2015


  1. Hello Susan,
    I am new in belt weaving. Which of your books would you recommend to get for beginners in Baltic style belt weaving? Do you teach? I am living in Colorado and would love to attend your classes.

    1. Hi Natalie
      My book about Sami Band Weaving has the instructions for weaving patterned bands using a standard heddle. Do check out my YouTube videos which show weaving in action.
      On the Yahoo group Braids and Bands I have given several online weaving workshops. There will be another workshop next year but I have not decided upon a date. Detials on how to join the Yahoo group Braids and Bands is given on the Braid Society web page.
      I am teaching a workshop in Tacoma in the USA at the Braids 2016. Click on the link on the blog to see further details.
      Creating patterns on bands can be quite addictive - they are so beautiful
      Susan J Foulkes


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