Regardless if you are working with many 8 string friendship bracelet patterns or a single 8 string friendship bracelet, it is always a good idea to estimate how much strings you need to create a full friendship bracelet.
Running out of string is a huge problem, and it’s not something that can be remedied satisfactorily, even if you get another bundle of string later on. The pattern would be ruined, and the bracelet would look awkward at the point where it was reconnected to another thread (or a bundle of threads).
Average Friendship Bracelet Strings length
On the average, chevron bracelets or friendship bracelets run the gamut from 30 inches of string to 70 inches of string, folded in half. The pattern of sizing, depending on the girth of the wrist is 30 inches, 40 inches, 60 inches, and then 70 inches for the wrists with most girth.
These figures take into account that you will need to create a loop at the top of the bundle of threads, as well as a pair of closure strings measuring 1.5” to 2.5” depending on how long you want the closure strings. Some folks like to add buttons and beads to the closure strings too, and this would, of course, require more string as the closure strings are also woven with each other.
Adding a buckle to your bracelet?
Next, let’s talk about buckles. Buckles add a touch of innovation to chevron bracelets because they help with closure and they look good, overall.
However, the addition of a buckle to the weave means you will have to add at least two inches to three inches to the pre-woven length. If you are not adding anything and you are just interested in completing the simple pattern you have in mind, then there is no need to add any more string.
If you are thinking of additional braiding from top to bottom instead of the usual 4-knot pattern that is easier on the whole, you need to add at least six inches to the total length. If you are unsure because the braid pattern is more complex than what you have seen in other patterns, go for 12 inches (1 foot) or more.
You can always cut off the excess string at the end of the process. More is actually better in the context of making woven bracelets because you can’t repair a bracelet well enough when you suddenly run out of string.
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Simple vs complex patterns
What about pattern types?
Obviously, more complex patterns are going to require more string. Since every finished knot requires two loops, you’re eating away at the available string twice as fast, which is why the average allowance for the string begins at 30 inches folded in half.
The more string you have, the better your chances of finishing your project without running out of string. Now if you are working with say, a five-string chevron friendship bracelet pattern that just requires the usual alternating knots with the middle knot tied, then you don’t have to add a lot of allowance to the main string supply anymore, as simple patterns do not consume a lot of string at all.
Japanese kumihimo method
If you are interested in trying the Japanese kumihimo method instead of the more conventional chevron knotting pattern, you don’t need a lot of string. Kumihimo actually uses less string, so on average, you will only require about 25 inches total, folded in half. If you don’t feel confident with 25 inches because of your wrist size, feel free to go up to 30 inches or 35 inches.
Alphabet patterns consume a lot of strings and they’re actually harder to compute because of the depth of color that you need to achieve across the pattern. The background colors are easy to estimate, but the strings for the letters are not. Also, you need several lengths of alphabet strings available so you can print the image of the letters across the columns and rows without pinching the bracelet.
Say you need a lot of color on the rightmost side of the pattern, it would be best to have color strings on the right side, too. Experienced bracelet makers state that if a pattern consumes a lot of string, it would be best to have an entire skein available.
You can still weave with the string attached to the skein. The vertical string will be the ones moving if you find strings attached to their skeins more difficult to manipulate. The base strings on the average for bracelets with two letters are 30 inches to 40 inches.
There are so many types of strings. For beginners, we recommend that you try hardier types of string such as those used for needlework and sewing. If you are going to use crocheting threads, be sure to pick a gauge that is not too thick. Thinner gauges are actually better suited for creating woven bracelets.
Pearl Cotton is another good option because it is spun from cotton and it’s awesome for creating durable bracelets that will stand the test of time. Ditto for those who like to add beads and buckles to their friendship bracelets.
Sudden snapping is observed in cheaper string types like craft strings as these are made from interlocking, synthetic fibers instead of nylon or cotton fibers, bracelet may be broken after a few weeks or months. Therefore, for complex designs that require a lot more knotting and denser rows and columns, use better quality strings.
Tips for making better friendship bracelets
- Before trying complicated bracelet designs, it would be best to practice your left knot, right knot, and downward knot first. These three main knots are the lifeblood of making bracelets and you will be using them constantly regardless of what patterns you fancy.
- Try different kinds of bracelet strings and settle for the ones that are easy to work with and do not unravel when you work with them over a period of time. Some people have more dexterous hands, while others require threads with much more heft and weight. If this is the case then avoid strings that are made with synthetic fibers. Instead, use threads that are spun from cotton as these tend to be tougher.The thread thickness would also have a huge impact on the durability of the individual threads when you separate them from the main skein.Generally speaking, the thinner the threads, the more fragile they are and the more likely they will unravel when you work on them too roughly. On the other hand, thinner threads are recommended for projects that require finer details.
- If you have not tried making bracelets before, reduce the thread count to three and just practice. At this point in time, we don’t need perfect bracelets – just you being able to carry out the necessary knots is already satisfactory.
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