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PLY SPLIT BRAIDING
Ply-split braiding has been found extensively in Rajasthan and Gujarat, North West India, where it has been used to make camel girths and animal regalia.
The essential materials needed for ply-split braiding are highly twisted, plied cords. These are commonly 4-ply cords, but 2- or 3-ply cords are occasionally used.
The traditional girths are made from goat hair yarn or sometimes cotton. Contemporary braid makers use a variety of yarns including, linen, hemp, silk, paper, or rayon, often using a four-hook cordwinder. Having made the cords, the ply-splitting process is very portable. A gripfid is frequently used for splitting the cords and drawing a cord through the plies of one or more cords.
Being an ‘off loom’ technique, shapes may be made and combined to make more complex designs with the potential for making pieces from fine neckpieces, bracelets etc, through to larger vessels and sculptural works.