Ply-split braiding is a technique for making textiles by parting the plies of one cord (the "splittee") with a needle or similar tool, drawing a second cord (the "splitter") through the gap made in the first cord, and repeating the process many times over. With 176 images, including patterns, these techniques illustrate how to make baskets using plain oblique twining, a version of ply-split braiding particularly well-suited for the art of basketry. This guide to the creative process gives you the information needed for shaping the form of a basket, including the rate and location of adding and removing cords. Chapters include creating fenestrations, substituting cords, combining baskets, crossing planes, and harnessing the tension between right triangles when the hypotenuse of one aligns with the leg of another. See how these techniques are rendered in a gallery of beautiful finished work.
David W. Fraser is a Research Associate at The Textile Museum in Washington, specializing in textile structure. His studio work has been in weft twining and ply-split braiding. He is a medical epidemiologist and former President of Swarthmore College.