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How to braid 4 cords

Updated July 20, 2017

While most people learn how to make a three-strand braid, weaving a four-strand braid is not as commonly known. There are several types of four-strand braids, including flat and round. Both are sturdier than a three-strand braid and less likely to unravel. A flat four-strand braid is similar to a three-strand braid, except that there is a small diamond pattern running down the centre, produced by the fourth strand. A round four-strand braid is often called a spiral or diamond braid. Use a four-strand braid to weave a rope for utility purposes, make a craft cord for jewellery, ribbon for homecoming mums, or even in your own hair for a beautiful, intricate style.

Line up the ends of each of the four cords. Tie an overhand knot near the end to secure the cords together. Tape the knot to a flat surface where you can work the braid. Omit this step if your cords are already connected at one end --- if you're braiding hair, for example.

Separate the four cords so they aren't tangled or overlapping. Mentally label the cords 1 through 4 from left to right.

Bring cord 1 (the leftmost cord) over cord 2 (the adjacent cord), under cord 3 and over cord 4. Pull to tighten. Cord 1 is now cord 4 because it now occupies the right-most position in the four-cord series.

Bring the new cord 1 over cord 2, under cord 3 and over cord 4. Pull to tighten.

Repeat Step 4 until your braid is the desired length. After a few repetitions, the pattern will emerge. Maintain tension on the cords at all times for a tight, even braid.

Line up the ends of each of the four cords, and tie and overhand knot near the end to secure the cords together. Tape the knot to a flat surface where you can work the braid. Omit this step if your cords are already connected at one end --- if you're braiding hair, for example.

Separate the four cords so they aren't tangled or overlapping. Mentally label the cords 1 through 4 from left to right.

Cross cord 2 over cord 3. You are essentially crossing the two middle cords, the first over the second. Cord 2 becomes the new cord 3 and vice versa.

Bring cord 1 under cords 2 and 3. Bring cord 1 around cord 3, placing it between cords 2 and 3. Cord 1 becomes the new cord 2. Pull to tighten.

Bring cord 4 under cords 3 and 2. Bring cord 4 around cord 2, placing it between cords 2 and 3. Cord 4 becomes the new cord 3. Pull to tighten.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the braid is the desired length. After a few repetitions, the pattern will emerge. Maintain tension on the cords at all times for a tight, even braid.

Tip

Hold the cords close to the braid, not at the ends. This helps to maintain tension on the cords, producing an even braid without gaps or lumps.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cords, 1 1/2 times as long as the finished braid
  • Masking tape
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About the Author

Michelle Watson has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010. She has edited hospital magazines around the United States and written on a variety of health-care topics. Watson is also a licensed high school English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a teaching credential.