Fingerloop Braids

There were twenty-four examples of fingerloop braiding found in recent excavations of Medieval sites that took place in London. These date from the period between the late 12th and the early 15th centuries.

Two of these braids were used to edge netted mesh hairnets (crespins), one was a purse string, and the others were probably used to fasten clothing. From associated datable finds (such as pottery and wood fragments) it is possible to place three braids within the 13th century.

These are listed below:

Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Material
Loops
210
3
two-ply silk
7
320
3
two-ply silk
7
700
3
two-ply silk
10

The last braid in this list weighs only 0.8g. It is easy to calculate that one ounce of silk (the normal measure by which silk was sold) could be used to make 35 braids of this type.

No examples of non-silk braids have been found, but this is probably because linen and wool did not tend to survive in these sites. It is, however, highly likely that these materials were also used for braid manufacture.

Fingerloop Braiding