The Turk's head is widely used
as a decorative button but is also useful for covering string
end areas. It adds balance and weight to items such as braided
romal reins. Those chosen for this book are a group of smaller
Turk's heads rather than longer ones, such as the long pineapple
button. Also included are a couple of pretty and handy narrow
Understanding the pattern will
make braiding most Turk's heads easier. A majority of buttons
follow the same rules with a few minor changes, however there
is only a single correct pattern for each one. With experience,
the patterns become easier to understand because of their similarities.
The useful and attractive 5 part, 9 bight Turk's head is a good
example of the need to learn the pattern. See pages 69-70.
The word button or knot appears
in the text, but do not be confused, they still refer to a Turk's
head. The terms lace and strings are interchangeable. In the
past, the word lace was something I thought of as coming from
a spool therefore I always used the term string until I started
writing these books.
Describing the Turk's head by
its parts and bights can be confusing so, whenever possible,
their common nicknames are used, if known. Some nicknames I may
have coined. Refer to page 3, for a detailed explanation of parts
The majority of this book discusses
two Turk's head series. The first series are those that increase
by 2 bights, technically to an infinite number but not practically.
The series most of us are familiar with is the one that has even
numbered bights with the parts being 1 number higher, such as
7 parts, 6 bights. For brevity, I have always shortened the names
to 6 bights or 8 bights, and so forth.
This series is what I consider
the most important and valuable that any braider can learn, especially
with a herringbone interweave. They can cover any round object
of any size or shape. This is why they are braided on the bosal
heel knot. As many rows of herringbone interweave as needed,
can be added to fill the button. The gaucho interweave on these
Turk's heads is nice and some very useful, but best only as a
The other Turk's head series
that can be increased by 2 bights is similar, but has an uneven
number of bights with the parts being 1 number higher, such as
6 parts, 5 bight or 8 parts, 7 bights and so forth. It is not
a more difficult Turk's head to braid, just different. It can
be braided with a gaucho and herringbone interweave. It gets
interesting when braiding a herringbone interweave. The result
is a variety of patterns, as the foundation button increases
in bights. I hope you will enjoy learning it and its possibilities.