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- 8 Strands

Round, Half Round, Square, Herringbone and Gaucho Braids

There are four types of eight strand braids, what I call the hard way, the herringbone or square braid, the half round and the Gaucho. When braiding with more then six strands in becomes more difficult to make the round shape so I often will braid around a 3 or 4 mm cording. This is not only for shape though it also shows off the braid pattern especially when you get into Gaucho braids. The second braid or Herringbone / Square braid is actually the same braid but done without a core it produces a square shape and with a core comes out round. Before you begin you should saddle soap your strands to make the braiding easier and more consistent and for an average bracelet you need your strands to be about 18 inches long. I'll show 2 views of each braid, a loose strand view so you can see where the strands are and a tight view for how the braid should look. So let's get braiding!!

In these images I've started with 4 strands and tied them in the middle with some waxed string. This image shows how the strands are layed out to begin with and you can click on any of the images to view it in a larger size.



Eight Strands Round
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Starting with the top strand on the right, bring the strand behind to the left and go under one strand, over one strand, under one strand and over one strand.

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With the top strand on the Left, bring the strand behind to the right and go under one strand, over one strand, under one strand and over one strand.

With the top strand on the right, bring the strand behind to the left and go under one strand, over one strand, under one strand and over one strand.

With the top strand on the Left, bring the strand behind to the right and go under one strand, over one strand, under one strand and over one strand.

I think you get the idea, working from each side bring the top strand behind then under, over, under, over. Since you repeat this same step on each side this is considered to be a single step braid. All that finger work getting that strand under, over, this is why I, at least, call this the hard way. Here's a photo of a braided length.

Eight Strands Half Round
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Start by crossing the two inside strands.

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Bring the top right strand behind then under three strands and over one strand.

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Bring the top left strand behind then under three strands and over one strand.

Bring the top right strand behind then under three strands and over one strand.

Bring the top left strand behind then under three strands and over one strand.

A fairly simple braid that has the nice effect of being flat on one side and round on the other. Here are photos of a braided length front and back.

Eight Strands Square or Herringbone

In this example I'll introduce braiding around a core which will make this a Herringbone braid rather then a Square braid. Start by crossing the four inside strands as pictured.

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Bring the top left strand behind then under two strands and over two strands. The second photo here shows the back of the braid and how the strand goes beind the core and the strands.

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Bring the top right strand behind then under two strands and over two strands.

Bring the top left strand behind then under two strands and over two strands.

Bring the top right strand behind then under two strands and over two strands.

A simple braid that has the nice effect. Here's a photo of a braided length.

Eight Strands Gaucho

So far the braids shown have been pretty simple, what I call single step braids since you repeat the same under over pattern on each side. Well that is now going to get alot more complex as we jump to a four step braid called the Gaucho. I love this braid but it takes awhile to get good at, just remember to keep looking at what you've braided and try to find any mistakes early, nothing worse then undoing 6 inches (or more) of braiding because of a mistake. Start by crossing the four inside strands as shown.

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Bring the top left strand behind then under one strand, over two strands and under one strand.

Bring the top right strand behind then under two strands and over two strands.

Bring the top left strand behind then over one strand, under two strands and over one strand.

Bring the top right strand behind then over two strands and under two strands.

Here's a photo of a braided length. Again this braid is just four steps repeated over and over and it has a great pattern, but at first it is very complicated to keep in mind what step your on. Make a couple hundred feet of this braid and you'll start getting it down.