HAND-CRAFTED LEATHER GOODS
Mexican basket weave or Round braid
This stitch is used on any edge where a rounded, braided
effect, is desired. The amount of lace required is approximately nine times the
distance you are going to lace. This means, for example, if your project is 2'
around then you will need 18' of lace. At first glance this looks as though it is a
very difficult lacing technique to learn but it is really very simple. All it
is, is a simple over-one-under-one braid. By following the illustrations below,
and the direction of the arrows in them, you'll pick up the method very quickly. Use
⅛" to ³/16" lace with correspondingly
sized slits in your leather, ensuring that the corner slits are appoximatelt
half as long again as the others.
As shown in Fig 1 push your needle and lace down between the
edges of the leather exiting out through the third numbered slit. Make
certain to leave about ³/4" of the end of the
lace between the sides bringing your lace over to the front and going once more
through the first slit. Once again bring the lace over to the front and push the
needle through the fourth slit. Now, as in Fig 2, you bring the lace over to the
front and go through the second slit. Next, Fig 3, push up under the nearest
strand and then over the next one bringing the lace to the front to lace through
the fifth slit. On to Fig 4 and bring your lace to the front over the first
strand then down under the next strand as shown, the push your needle through
the third slit.
Observe in Fig 5 that the lace is pushed up under the nearest strand then over the next strand (as previously in Fig 3) lacing through the next open slit in line. Now, shown in Fig 6, you bring the lace to the front of the leather. Go over the first strand then under the second one and continue to lace through the fourth slit for the second time. Continue to lace going under and over and forward three, then over and under and back two. Each slit being laced through twice. Carry on lacing around until you reach your first or starting slit again then bring the lace to the front of the leather and over the first strand then under the second as shown. Lace through the penultimate slit again. That takes us up to Fig 8 where you lace up under the first strand and over the next one bringing the lace to the front where you push it through the second slit.
In Fig 9 the lace has been brought over to the front going under the strand then through the last slit. Next, in Fig 10, lace up under the nearest strand before going underthe strand on top as illustrated. Lace through the third slit pushing it up through between the sides and out through the stitching on top. Figure 11 shows the trimming off of the lace as close as one can
Pay particular attention to the fact that the corner slit has to be gone through four times, while the ones on either side, only three times. The reason that these corner slits need to be larger than the others, is now obvious. When you come to near the end of your lace and need to join on another don't panic. The splicing is the same as for Cordovan lacing, but the ending is different. The figures below illustrate the ending for this stitch.
Regarding the reference above to splicing on another length of lace. The method used when Cordovan lacing is as follows. Figures 1 and 2 show how to bring the lacing end up between two pieces of leather, and how to insert it back under the lacing to hide the end.
Figures 3, 4 and 5 show how to insert the new piece of lacing down between the two pieces of leather and back under the loop to complete the stitch. The loose end, left by the new piece of lacing, is laced down as the stitches are continued.