World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Braids

Article Id: WHEBN0002970757
Reproduction Date:

Title: Braids  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: All Tomorrow's Parties (music festival), Epitonic
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Braids

For other uses, see Braid (disambiguation).




A braid (also called plait) is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or human hair. Compared to the process of weaving a wide sheet of cloth from two separate, perpendicular groups of strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.

The simplest possible braid is a flat, solid, three-strand structure in some countries/cases called a plait. More complex braids can be constructed from an arbitrary (but usually odd) number of strands to create a wider range of structures: wider ribbon-like bands, hollow or solid cylindrical cords, or broad mats which resemble a rudimentary perpendicular weave.

Braids are commonly used to make rope, decorative objects, and hairstyles[1] (also see pigtails, French braid). Complex braids have been used to create hanging fibre artworks. Braiding is also used to prepare horses' manes and tails for showing, polo and polocrosse.[2]

History

Hair braiding has long been thought to have originated in East Africa. The oldest known image of hair braiding was traced back to a burial site called Saqqara located on the Nile river during the first dynasty of Pharaoh Menes. It was a means of communication so that at a glance one individual could distinguish a wealth of information about another, whether they were married, mourning, or of age for courtship, simply by observing their hairstyle. Certain hairstyles were distinctive to particular tribes or nations. Other styles spoke to an individual’s status in society.

Braiding is traditionally a social art. Because of the time it takes to braid hair the women took time to socialize while braiding and having their hair done. It begins with the elders making simple knots and braids for younger children. Older children watch and learn from them, start practicing on younger girls and eventually learn the traditional designs. In the US, you see mothers and grandmothers braiding and putting colorful beads in little children’s hair. This carries on a tradition of bonding between elders and the new generation.

Braiding hair down to the scalp has been traditional in many African ethnic groups such as the Tuareg, Bushmen, Copts, Amhara, Nubian, Akan, Beja, Himba, Somali, Ababda, Dogon, Fula, Bedouin, Pygmies, Tigraway, and the Yoruba. Asian ethnic groups such as the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Phoenicians and Assyrians, the ethnic groups of North and South America such as the Cherokee, Sioux, Blackfoot Confederacy, Inca, Maya, Aztec and the Olmec, and European ethnic groups such as the Spanish, Dutch, French, Hellenes and Italians.

Ropes and cables

Braiding creates a composite rope that is thicker and stronger than the non-interlaced strands of yarn. Braided ropes are preferred by arborists, rock climbers and in sport sailing because they do not twist under load, as does an ordinary twisted-strand rope. These ropes consist of one or more concentric tubular braided jackets surrounding either several small twisted fibre cords, or a single untwisted yarn of straight fibres, and are known as Kernmantle ropes.

In electrical and electronic cables, braid is a tubular sheath made of braided strands of metal placed around a central cable for shielding against electromagnetic interference. The braid is grounded while the central conductor(s) carry the signal. The braid may be used in addition to a foil jacket to increase shielding and durability.

Another use is for litz wire which uses braids of thin insulated wires to carry high frequency signals with much lower losses from skin effect or to minimise proximity effect in transformers.

Flat braids made of many copper wires are also sometimes used for flexible electrical connections between large components. The numerous smaller wires comprising the braid are much more resistant to breaking under repeated motion and vibration than is a cable of larger wires. A common example of this may be found connecting a car battery's negative terminal to the metal chassis.

Similar braiding is used on pressurized rubber hoses, such as in plumbing and hydraulic brake systems in automobiles. Braiding is also used for fibres for composite reinforcements.

A property of the basic braid is that removing one strand unlinks the other two, as they are not twisted around each other. Mathematically, a braid with that property is called a Brunnian braid.

Australian plaiting

Plaiting (or braiding) with kangaroo leather has been a widely practiced tradition in rural Australia since pioneering times. It is used in the production of fine leather belts, hatbands, bridles, dog leads, bullwhips and stockwhips etc. Other leathers are used for the plaiting of heavier products suitable for everyday use.[3]

Other braids

Gold braids and silver braids are components or trims of many kinds of formal dress, including military uniform (in epaulettes, aiguillettes, on headgear).

Metaphors

Braids are often used figuratively to represent interweaving or combination, such as in "He braided many different ideas into a new whole."

Braiding happens when a river is carrying vast amounts of eroded sediment. Sediment is deposited as islands in the channel causing the river to split up into many winding channels.

In some river and stream systems, small streams join together and redivide in many places. Such stream systems are said to be braided. These are often found in alluvial fans at the outlet of canyons. This is a result of heavy sediment deposition at high flows followed by re-erosion at low flows. See also river delta.

Gallery

See also

References

External links

  • Japanese braiding

Template:Knots

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.