Search the internet for the phrase ‘friendship bracelets’ and you get many different bracelets designed using different materials (silver, beads, yarn etc). For me though, I grew up in an era where the craze was to create bracelets using yarn. My nan used to knit and grandad used to make latch hook rugs, so I assume that there used to be a surplus of wool to hand because I remember making chunky (not so delicate) bracelets in my teens, which I used to wear myself. These bracelets did not have any design, they just used to have a diagonal stripe of colour. I then grew up and forgot this fine craft.
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit. – Aristotle
These bracelets are thought to be form of macramé. Macramé is the art of crafting textiles for decorative or functional items (wall hangings, cushion covers, hammocks, bags etc.) using a series of knots. Out of curiosity, I went out searching on internet about the origins of bracelets. Like most crafts that are handed through the generations, there doesn’t seem to be a definite start point. There are definite links that friendship bracelets are associated with Central America but it’s thought that the art of decorative items can be found in China 481-221 B.C.
Now one of my many creative passions is making friendship bracelets. They are so adaptable as they can be created using any yarn mix but a fine yarn is generally used, for example embroidery thread. Bracelets are created using a series of knots to produce a bracelet that is originally created to give as a gift to show friendship.
Nowadays, my bracelets are not a chunky boring bracelet that I made as a child but fabulous colourful creations with patterns. So when choosing a bracelet for you friend, you can either choose one that you like, so every time your friend looks at it they think of you or you can choose something you think they might like, to show how well you know them. Originally they would be tied onto your wrist, with the idea that you’d wear them until they fall off because they’ve worn out. The idea being that it’s an appreciation of the time and effort that has gone into the making of the bracelet.