Lucet cord making dates back to the Viking Era (11th century) and remains a versatile form of braiding. People in the past used antlers to create a lucet, which is a flat, pronged instrument that looks like a lyre and holds thread or yarn that gets looped repeatedly. Today, it resembles a bladed fork with a handle and rapidly braids two- and three-dimensional cords, according to the Lucet Co. Any braidable yarn or thread can be used to make a lucet cord.
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Lucets often embellish the edges of a woven article, such as a kitchen hot pad or a chair pad, throw rug, duvet cover, oven glove and other practical items, and they add special touches to homemade gifts. According to the Indiana-based Finniwig Studios, the size of hole on the bottom of the lucet dictates the size of the strand that passes through it.
Period costumes made with lucet cords add a degree of authenticity. Lucet cords tied doublets and hose in the Middle Ages, bodices for the Elizabethans and neck chains and watch fobs for Victorians, who used carved ivory to make lucets, according to the Lucet Co. Old Tyme Arts and Crafts explains that in medieval times, lucet cords also were used to tie on armour and had aglets -- which are similar to the little tubes at the end of shoelaces -- made from precious metals or brass.
Ropes and Cords
Lucet cords restring yo-yos successfully because the cord remains uniform, without a twist bias. Lucets also make cords for necklaces and bracelets, eyeglasses, shoelaces, pocket watches, skipping ropes and dog leashes. It's important to choose the right thickness of yarn or thread, though; for example, silk strands work well for necklaces and coarser, sturdier strands are needed for skipping ropes or leashes.
The Finniwig Studios website notes that the desired chain size can be fine or coarse, as long as the size and sturdiness of the lucet and the type of thread or yarn are appropriate. The needle-crafting section at Elinor.org.uk advises that using a crochet hook to pass the strands over the tine aids the process because extensive cording sometimes causes discomfort to fingers, especially when the material is fine.
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