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There are many things I love about these bracelets. The reindeer leather is soft and comfortable and their overall design and construction is casual and unique. For people with metal allergies they are the perfect solution since the pewter thread doesn’t come in contact with the skin. I have a tendency to wear my bracelets all the time and naturally over the years the loop can wear out or I catch the whole business on a door handle and the piece needs to be repaired. So, you or someone you made a bracelet for has broken the loop and or lost the antler button that holds the piece together. What do you do?
I recently had an inquiry from one of our blog subscribers regarding the repair of a much loved bracelet and after a few emails I thought it would be a good idea to offer up some tips and tricks for fixing the clasp ends. There are lots of ways to fix a broken loop or attach a new button provided you are brave and have the proper tools and materials.
The loop and button are the hardest working components of your bracelet. I’ve done a lot of repair on my own work and the work of other students and artists. If the loop has come out or broken it’s best to start out with a new bit of leather cord and follow the directions below.
You’ll need to use a sharp scissors to clip the stitches open on the back of your bracelet (about an inch of the way down) and open the seam. Pull out any leftover pieces or loose threads. Thread a glover (leather) needle or a sharp round needle and knot one end with synthetic sinew. You can also use cotton polyester thread in a pinch, however synthetic sinew (which is really waxed linen) offers a bit of waterproofing and lasts longer than the cotton thread.
I like to wrap my thread around the loop and tie a knot. Next I’ll anchor the loop by doing 2 stitches through the strip. Bring the needle back through the open loop as shown and spreading the section of your loop legs apart, pass the needle under the wrap. You’ll be working back to front. As I mentioned, do this twice. Bring the needle back through the loop and stitch the back of your bracelet closed.
This is just one way to fix your broken loop. You may discover after repairing a few bracelets what works best for you. The main thing is that the loop stays on the bracelet. Don’t be afraid to cut your seam open. Once you have the bracelet fixed try buttoning and unbuttoning it a few times. If the loop stays put you’ve done a good job. If it pulls out try stitching it down again. It’s better to make sure the clasp is working before handing it back to your friend or client
Do you have a have bracelet that needs to be fixed? Shoot me your questions and let’s get that bracelet back in shape! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog -I’d love to hear from you.
I have always been fascinated by how people are attracted to a particular craft or art form. For me, I developed an obsession with jewelry by the age of four and would beg my mother to let me “organize” her jewelry drawer. I would pile on as many rings, necklaces, bracelets and pins my toddler size frame could hold. Of all of the pieces in my mother’s collection her Norwegian brooches stood out the most. The fine silver filigree designs with their delicate disc shaped drops tinkled and sparkled like small waterfalls.
I was born in Decorah, Iowa, home to the Vesterheim Norwegian- American Museum where I would spend hours looking at the silver jewelry and bridal crowns. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Iowa City with a Master’s Degree in Metalworking and Jewelry I later traveled to Norway to study traditional “bunad” silver jewelry.
I attended Raulandsakademiet Folk School in Telemark where traditional crafts like rosmaling, weaving, acanthus carving, etc. are taught. It was there I first saw a Swedish woman in my class wearing several unique braided bracelets. She explained to me the technique was a craft associated with the Saami, Scandinavia’s indigenous people.
Our daily jewelry class was very intense and at the end of the day I would relax by watching her weave the pewter thread into different designs and sew the finished braids to strips of reindeer hide. Needless to say I was hooked and I am as excited about teaching this craft as I was 15 years ago when I made my first bracelet.
I can say with certainty my Norwegian heritage was the spark that influenced my interest in traditional and contemporary craft today.
What draws your interest about this particular craft?
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Join our blog and add some color to your pewter thread bracelets. I love the look of traditional pewter thread braids but sometimes I long for a little variation to really make the materials pop. I usually wear several bracelets at a time and often I can color coordinate my selection with what I’m wearing. We recently added a rich rainbow of 1.00mm round cowhide leather cord to our inventory at saamisupplies.com. Follow the steps in this project to brighten you bracelets and your day.
Double Four Braid Pewter Thread Bracelet with 1.00 Round Leather Colored Cord
Begin by cutting 4 pieces of 0.35mm pewter thread approximately 18 inches long each. Cut one 18 inch section of 1.00mmround leather cord.
Take 2 pieces of pewter thread and place a strand on either side of your leather cord. These will be your borders. Double the entire piece in half on the end of an open paper clip attached to your table clamp. Make sure to keep everything flat. It’s a bit of a challenge so don’t be discouraged if it seems like you need another set of hands to get everything positioned properly.
Double your remaining 2 strands of pewter thread over the end of the paper clip and you are ready to start braiding.
Proceed to braid as you would for the double four-strand pewter thread bracelet project in our previous post this past week.
You should end up with a 6.5 – 6.75 inch finished braid. You can sew the braid to a leather strip at this point or simply cap the end with a button and loop for a different look.
It’s hard to believe that the addition of color can make this braid look so different. You can also try using round polyester cord or silk beading cord for variety. I’ve had students use flat strips of suede or reindeer hide and even ribbon! Remember to use materials at least 1.00mm wide so your material doesn’t disappear between the sections of your pewter thread.
Don’t forget to join our blog and stay tuned for another exciting project next week. Visit www.saamisupplies.com for everything you need to fuel your creativity!
Hey everyone! I’ve gotten lots of requests over the past few weeks regarding the steps on how to create a double four-strand braid for our pewter thread and Saami inspired folks. This is a beautiful dense Irish looking pattern that takes a bit of practice. To start you will need 4 strands of 0.35mm pewter thread approximately 20″ long each.
Double your strands in half over the hook of your paper clip and divide into 4 sections with two strands in each section. Don’t worry if this looks a little wonky to start with.
Take your two sections in the middle and cross the right section over the left section. and pull taut.
Take the outermost section on your left and cross it over the nearest section and pull over to the right. Pull taut.
Take the outermost section on your right and cross it under the nearest section and pull over the left.
Pull both sections firmly to either side and you should begin to see the pattern emerging.
Depending on how tightly you braid you should end up with a finished braid approximately 6.5 to 6.75 inches long. Remember to figure that a good 0.25 inch on either end will be hidden in the body of your bracelet if you are going to sew the braid to a leather strip. These proportions work well for a 7 inch finished bracelet on reindeer hide so if you want a longer braid increase the length of your strands by 2 inches (20 – 22 inches). Again, depending on the how tightly you weave your strands will determine the overall finished length of the braid. Strands measuring 22 inches in length should yield you a finished braid measuring approximately 7.7 to 8 inches long.
Good luck and I am always happy to answer questions and help in any way I can. Don’t forget to share your projects on our Saami Inspired Facebook Page. Thanks for following our blog and stay tuned for a new project post May 6th where we’ll add a little color to your life.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I can get a little crazy when it comes to all the different variations of braids that are possible for my bracelets. For example, I’m working on the two bracelets pictured below which are double strand, four braid weaves. They are essentially the same except for the division of strand groupings. In the first picture on the left, the braid on the left (“dubbel fyrflata”) uses around 6 feet of 0.35mm tin thread divided into 4 sections and doubled over for a 6.5 inch finished braid. The style on the right uses 3 strands at 18.5 inches each and 1 strand at 21 inches doubled over for a 6.5 inch finished braid. It’s all in how you divide up the strand groups. Stay tuned for some examples where we combine leather, beads, silk cord and fish leather into the braid!
Here are some practice pieces I’m working on using the same pewter thread I use for my Saami Inspired Bracelet projects. This type of knot work is a replication of “posaments” or decorations found in Viking graves from the 9th and 10th centuries in Sweden. While I’m using pewter thread, ancient posaments were actually created using gold and silver wire and were used for embellishing clothing. I’ve had to practice the knot patterns beforehand using leather cord and I’m still learning!
With the release of our new book “Saami Inspired Bracelet Basics” (available at Amazon.com) we encourage everyone to share their projects, tips and tricks on our Saami Inspired Crafts Facebook page! Share your photos and check out our international contributors.
Free! How To Measure Materials For Saami Leather Bracelets
Start making your own custom Saami inspired leather bracelets with this quick guide. Understanding what measurements are needed in a leather bracelet will help you to create innovative designs and allow you to experiment with your braiding. This is a free downloadable PDF.
The long awaited Saami Inspired Bracelet Basics E-Book by Liz Bucheit is here and available on Amazon.
Explore the wonderful world of spun pewter thread jewelry! Historically, Vikings used metal spun thread to decorate their clothing and leather goods. This technique enjoyed a resurgence in popularity during the 16th century among the Saami, Scandinavia’s original native population. In this book you will learn the craft of braiding pewter coiled thread to create a unique bracelet on reindeer hide with an antler button clasp. Follow easy instructions, large photo examples and additional video links for a step by step guide to completing these beautiful bracelets.