The LOOP MANIPULATION (L-M) BRAIDING TECHNIQUE
is a pure hand-braiding technique requiring no assistance of tools except for an optional beater. Every other working ends of the threads are paired and the paired ends connected thus forming loops rather than being separate as in the case of most other braiding techniques. One end of the bunched braiding threads is fixed on a support, and you mount each loop on a finger of the hands (the finger-held method). Or you may slip the sequentially arranged loops around the hands (the hand-held method). To make a braid, you exchange the loops, one at a time, between two hands following a prescription. The technique’s ability of efficiently making uniformly patterned braids is beyond one’s imagination.
The practice of the technique was reported for the first time in the early 20th century, and there have been sporadic reports since then. Its surprising facts that it has been practiced much earlier and wider in the world, however, started unravel only in the 1970s by Noémi Speiser’s ground breaking researches into the reconstruction of the 17th-c. English notebooks, followed by that of the 19th-c. Japanese treatise by me (Masako Kinoshita, 1987).
I have become more and more aware, as my friends send me information about the loop-manipulation (L-M) braiding technique, that it makes a world of difference that they happen to know the technique. As we need more information to learn more about L-M techniques, it is vital to have the technique known as widely as possible. I have, therefore, decided to start the Loop-Manipulation Braiding Research & Information Center (L-M BRIC). The success of the Center depends very much on my friends who are interested in the technique and are willing to send information to the Center to share with others. I’d like to hear your comments.