Just the Details: Braided Denim Trims

A few years ago, a friend of mine made a trim using scraps of denim fabric. Such a creative idea -- and a great way to recycle old denim! 


Playing with Denim: I made three sample braids using bias strips of denim from a couple of pairs of old jeans. The top braid is a traditional three-strand braid; the middle braid is a four-strand braid; and the bottom one is a four-strand braid that mixed light and dark denim. I steamed each braid with an iron, which allowed the strips to fray a bit to create a more worn look -- which I love!


I cut two widths of bias strips -- 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch to see which one would work better. I found the 1/2-inch strips to be a bit bulky when braided and preferred the narrower 3/8-inch strips (shown in photo above). The look of the trim -- and therefore the "vibe" -- can be adjusted by changing the width of each strip; mixing colors; playing with different types of braiding; and tightening or loosening the tension while braiding. 


Braided Trim Vibes: Each braid has its own "personality". The loosely braided three-strand trim has a quiet simplicity -- it is narrower than the others and less complicated, and would be a good choice for a standout design that requires a non-competitive trim. The single-color, four-strand braid has more presence -- its tighter tension allows more of the braided texture to be visible, and its wider width makes it a perfect choice for a design that needs a prominent trim. The two-color, four-strand braid is the fun one of the three, I think. The intertwined colors and looser tension make it a bit more casual and would be a playful detail on any design.


If you are interested in learning more about making trims, there is a wonderful book with thorough instructions and tons of ideas. Check it out and be inspired!


Here's a link for the book: 200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop or Weave.

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