Variables and Methods for Aesthetic Braid Design

Amanda Margaret Bicking, William Oxenham


The paper describes a study which identified how various yarns, their corresponding spool placement, and interlacements affected the structure, appearance, and shape of a tubular braid. By replacing one certain element or variable of the braid structure with a differing variable, (i.e. color, fiber, spool placement, or interlacement structure), a variance is created, in a similar way to the creation of special effects in a fancy yarn.
Though there were several machines available for braid production, the Cobra 450 Maypole braider was chosen to fabricate the experimental products due to its ease of operation, manipulation, and spool replacement. This unit ¬¬produced hollow braids that allowed the structure to be utilized with or without a core; the machine was also capable of fabricating flat braids through the depression of the tubular structure and stitching the braid flatly in place.
By producing a series of braids, an improved comprehension of machine settings, material choice, and placement of yarns was achieved, while simultaneously fabricating a heightened design aesthetic in producing visual effects. Experimental design studies within the preliminary work included color pattern development and structural effects. Imagery of the variety of designs produced are included along with an analysis of all braid designs.

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