Intricately braided horsehair bracelets date back to the days when horses were the primary means of transportation and an essential part of almost every household. Today, such bracelets keep alive a tradition of making utilitarian and decorative items from horsehair. Bracelets of different-colored hair woven together make a unique fashion statement or remind the wearer of a beloved horse.
Things You’ll Need
Elastic hair band
Two bead clasps
Hair spray or spray varnish
Collect hair only from the tail of the horse. Snip from the base of the tail and cut about a pencil’s thickness of hair at a time.
Wrap the hair elastic around the horsehair you’ve collected and wash it with shampoo. Rinse well. Repeat this at least three times. As you wash, pull out and discard any short hairs. Allow to dry.
Wrap carpet thread several times around the end of the hair that’s held by the hair band. Remove the hair band and apply white glue over the band. Allow to dry.
Apply one drop of glue to the bound end of the horsehair hank. Using the pliers, open the bead clasp enough to accommodate your horsehair bundle. Squeeze shut.
Tie a piece of carpet thread around the loop at the end of the clasp and tie this to a cabinet door, door knob or anything that will hold the hair steady while you braid it.
Braid the hair. You may use a simple three-part braid, but round braids using four, six or eight strands make a nice round bracelet. Keep the hair taut as your braid, but don’t braid too tightly or it will kink.
When your bracelet is the length you desire, trim the ends even and attach the second bead clasp. Attach the two halves of the jewelry clasp to the bead clasps. Trim any stray hairs with nail scissors. You can finish with a coat of spray varnish or hair spray.
Tips & Warnings
- Collect hair from horses of several different colors to make an interesting pattern.
- Cut hair from the underside of the tail, where the cut will be least visible.
- Toggle clasps make the bracelet easy to put on and take off. Screw clasps offer more security.
- Take hair only with the permission of the horse’s owner.