Braiding is begun by twisting tail hairs together to create what
are called pulls, twists, strings or strands. Most people when discussing
braiding call them strands. Several strands are
attached at one end and then pinned to a board, to hold them in place. The
strands are then braided together in a pattern.
The simplest braid that most
people are familiar with is the three strand braid, you see it used in pigtails
on little girls. Most of the braiding done with horse hair is a little more
complicated. The 8 or 12 strand square braid is used quite often for stampede
strings on cowboy hats. Several 8 or 12 strand square braids can also be sewn
together to make items such as belts, hat bands, suspenders, bridles as well as many
other items. Braiding can also be incorporated in a hitched piece of art such as a
hat band or bridle.
There are several very talented braiders that have written
books on the subject. Some of these are listed under Information / Instructional Information / Recommendations for Books - Videos - CD's.
Techniques for braiding leather are very similar to braiding horsehair.
Below are some examples of horsehair braiding.