Ply-split braiding is an ancient technique that involves splicing cords or ropes, to weave an object. This technique originated in the dessert between India and Pakistan. Originally, men would take goat hair and spin it into yard. Then they would ply the yarn into cords, and split those cords to make the objects. Today, only a few men keep this traditional alive in South Asia by using goat hair, sticks and their hands to create intricately-designed ply-split girths for their camels. Ply-split braiding is traditionally used for flat projects but contemporary designers have harnessed this technique to create 3D objects as well.
In ply-splitting fabrics threads are held together by one thread splitting and going through another. Ply-splitting can be flat, but it can also be done zig-zag and spiral, which creates a 3D shape. Baskets, ornaments, necklaces and bags can be created using this technique.
Many people want to know how to make ply split basket. It may take some intermediate skills, but following an instructional video should help. Linda Hendrickson, a contemporary fiber artist, provides a step-by-step guide on how to make your own ply split basket. The technique is rather impressive when you see the video. By learning the basics of ply-split braiding, you can adjust the techniques to create your own designs. Below is a quick tutorial on how to make a ply-split garlic basket.