Masterclass Horsehair Braiding

I don’t think I would have the patience or the dexterity to do this type of art, but Kestrel has it in spades. She’s sent us a gorgeous example of the horsehair braiding that she does and I’m in awe. Thanks so much for sharing, Kestrel.


Years ago a lady had me braid a horsehair bracelet for her from her horse. She told me she was really having trouble with a watch that she truly loved: an Ecclissi watch that was just simply falling apart. She told me she had bought it over 30 years ago but loved to wear it. This is how it started out:

©kestrel, all rights reserved

You can see the chains were falling apart. The lady asked me if I could possibly repair it with braided horsehair. She said she would really like it if it looked like twill. I set to work counting hair and working out how to perform this repair.

©kestrel, all rights reserved

The finished watch had 4 bands of 8-strand braiding on each side of the watch. Because I used two different colors I got the twill effect.

©kestrel, all rights reserved









  1. kestrel says

    Thank you all, you are so kind! I actually liked the watch a lot better in horsehair… of course… too bad they don’t just make them that way but I can see it would be difficult to find that many horsehair braiders!

  2. says

    Having had occasion to trim various horse’s tails, I know that they tend to be greenish at the bottom and full of uggy gunk. Do you wash the hair before you work on it?

  3. kestrel says

    @Marcus, #7: Oh yes. Some people get offended that I wash it as they consider that their horsehair is very clean and my washing it is an insult; however, I have very high standards. There are times when I don’t have enough hands and must momentarily hold it in my *mouth* so I will stick with my high standards, and thoroughly wash every bit of hair I plan to braid, thank you very much. :)

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