Fingerloop Braiding

This braiding technique allows the craftsman to make a braid free-hand without the aid of equipment, although for long braids another person may beat the braid. Loops of threads are attached to a center point. The loops are then placed over the fingers. Interlacements are created by moving loops from one hand to the other according to predetermined sequences. This technique allows the creation of flat, round, square and rectangular braid structures. Typically, a single braider is limited in terms of how many loops he or she can handle and the length of the braid. Therefore, complex designs, and wider braids require more loops than a single braider can manipulate. The single braider opens her arms wide after she moves the loops on her fingers, so the length of the braid is limited by her arm span.  A team is needed when the braid is long or made of many loops.  addition of other braiders standing side-by-side and linking their braids together to make a wider braid.

This technique is quite old and present throughout the world. In Europe for example, archaeological examples have been found dating back to the early Middle Ages — around the 12th century. Fingerloop braids worked by a team of braiders are still being made in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Also see Loop Braiding in Japan (Kute-uchi)