A technique whereby three ribbons, cords or fabric lengths are woven together in a certain order to create a typical twist that is extremely attractive and easy to make, and very sturdy. A plaited length is far stronger than any single or even twisted length, being the sum of its parts. For this reason, load bearing yarns and ropes are often plaited.

Many of us have at some stage in our lives had plaits or pigtails, we learn to do them when we are children.  Dreadlocks and many of the most stunningly beautiful hair  designs have grown around the technique of plaiting. Plaiting is sculptural, it uses the same material to create a new dimension. And the craftsmanship, the act of manipulation is notable. It’s a very beautiful thing.

Our flour sack cushions often arrive with plaited hemp ties, or strings, with which the tops were tied and we now  use to hang them up. If they  don’t come with plaited ties  we often make them, using lengths of  hemp frayed  from any offcuts.

Some years ago we were trying to make some informal tie backs for a clients curtains – I’ve always disliked the unfriendly, poorly designed, hard half -moon tie back shapes that have come from goodness know where, and  any of the trimmings we looked at – cords, tassels, loops,  just didn’t seem quite right.  So we looped fabric around into sashes etc. and came up with the idea of plaits. A few  months later they were on on the front cover of House and Garden – not mine though, so there must have been something ‘in the air’ that drove the idea. We make soft rolls filled with medium weight cotton interlining  or wool batting ( sometimes polyester wadding ) and plait them together to make squashy, soft, informal tie backs, that  being of the same fabric as the curtains blend in, but also add a welcome extra dimension. They also hold the curtains in a good shape, the softness prevents the leading edges from creasing as much as they can with other types of tie back.

plaited ties -  flour sack cushion

plaited ties – flour sack cushion

plaited flour sack cushion

plaited flour sack cushion

flour sack pillow - plaited loop

flour sack pillow – plaited loop



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