How to Make Silk Cords

Written by gretchen maron
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Twisted cord is attractive and sturdy. Use twisted cords for belts, spaghetti-straps, or decorative trim. Make custom silk cording from almost any silk threadlike material. Experiment with string, macrame cords, plastic lacing, crochet yarn, lurex threads or satin ribbons. This project is easy, but it is much easier if you have an assistant.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 sections or more, each twice the length plus 6 inches of the desired cord, of silk yarn or embroidery floss
  • Spool
  • Pencil
  • Door with doorknob

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  1. 1

    Tie the ends of at least three (you can use as many as you wish) lengths of silk floss or yarn to the doorknob on a latched door.

  2. 2

    Pull the silk lengths taut; tie a knot 1 inch from the opposite end.

  3. 3

    Thread the knotted end through the spool, or through the section of PVC pipe.

  4. 4

    Insert the pencil between the knot and the spool or pipe, so that it looks a bit like a propeller.

  5. 5

    Twist the lengths of silk by rotating the pencil. As you rotate them, the lengths will become tighter, and you'll begin to see twist patterns in the silk lengths. Continue to rotate the lengths until the twists appear tight and close together. There's no absolute rule as to when you're done, however. The longer you twist, the tighter and more elegant your cord will be.

  6. 6

    Grasp the silk lengths between your thumb and forefinger (or, have your assistant do so). Keep the entire length of the twisted cord taut while you move toward the door knob: Don't let the midway point of the cord slacken at all. As you move, the two halves of the twisted cord will begin twisting around each other, forming the cord.

  7. 7

    Untie or cut the end of cord tied to the doorknob. You can tie off this end of the cord, or you can double the end over and stitch it in place to prevent ravelling.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to make a thicker, heavier cord, use twined fabric tubes, heavier yarns, or even cut strips of a favourite fabric. The centre of a spool may not be big enough to encompass all the threads or strips, but you can substitute a section of a cardboard paper towelling tube or a 1 inch long section of PVC pipe.

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