Celtic Braid Inkle Band

Inkle Band ~ Pick Up Pattern

Off the loom.  Length 80", usable length 76", waste 30"
Off the loom. Length 80″, usable length 76″, waste 30″

I love braids and knot-work, so when I found the Norse Girls pattern for this lovely Inkle pick-up pattern, I couldn’t resist trying it.  I have so far made several bands with this pattern and love it.  I have made myself a belt and also a guitar strap with a wider thicker version.  I don’t care too much for the hardware of the belt and decided that I wanted a belt in this color, so I warped my Inkle loom for another.

Off the Loom.  5/2 perle cotton, hand of fabric is stiff.  Looks good
Off the Loom. 5/2 perle cotton, hand of fabric is stiff. Looks good

I used 5/2 perle cotton for this band.  I think that’s perfect for what I’m using it for.  It works out to 1.25″ wide, I know that I can find belt hardware to fit, and It will serve my needs.  When I made the guitar strap, I used 3/2 which is much thicker and I made it 2″ wide.  Thankfully I’m not hanging a guitar from my belt.  I chose Black and Royal Purple.  They have a lovely sheen and contrast nicely.  I need to get over the an Etsy store and order myself some belt hardware.

Wet Finish, soaking in plain hot tap water
Wet Finish, soaking in plain hot tap water

This pattern uses a “Basket-weave” set up, and has a 6 pick repeat.  I could do a quick repeat of my pattern in the morning over coffee and if I didn’t look at it the rest of the day at least I worked on it a little.  There were a lot of days that’s all I did, a repeat or two over coffee.  I meet with an Inkle weavers group over in Gainesville every Friday, and that gives me an opportunity to weave (when I’m not running my mouth).  This band took me quite a while to weave as I have a few other projects going.  I’m working on a rather large (large for me) Navajo Style Weaving, Knitting some cowls and I have some silver alpaca that I’m spinning.  But if you hunker down and don’t get side tracked on other projects you can get through this project faster than you anticipate.  One small disappointment for me is that I learned that keeping both selvage warps heddled makes the best selvages.  I wish I had heard that before, I would have had an easier time with mine.  While I’m happy with my selvages, they could have been better.

After wet finish, fabric hand is soft, pliable, almost drapes.
After wet finish, fabric hand is soft, pliable, almost drapes.

I never wet finish my bands, and thought I would try it this time.  My band came off my loom very sturdy, very strong and very stiff.  I weave with my warp quite tight and I beat with a good deal of force.  I get the most picks per inch that I can.  I wanted to give wet finishing a try, so I took a basin and filled it with hot water from the tap.  I set my band in and let it soak until it was cool.  Once I pulled it out, I wrapped it in a towel to remove the excess water.  I hung it over my shower rod and hung a board to the ends to weigh it down a little.  When it was nearly dry but still slightly damp, I turned it upside down and pressed it with a hot iron.  The hand of the fabric is completely different.  My band still feels very strong and sturdy, but it’s so soft and pliable.  I can fold it straight in half instead of simply bending it.  I’m so glad that I threw that thing in some hot water.  I did see some color in the water, and I would be concerned if I had white next to a red, but I had no problems with color migration and there wasn’t enough color in the water to worry about.  I will have to make another post when I have the hardware in place.  I should have enough to make two belts, one friend told me to leave the fringe on one end.  I think I’ll give that some thought.  I’m not normally a fringe girl.

A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

4 Comments on “Celtic Braid Inkle Band

    • Thank you. I’m so glad that you like it. I have the belt hardware ordered and it’s en-route. Stay tuned as I transform this band into a belt. I’ll publish a web log outlining the process.

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