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Information on Lucets

Below are a couple of source URL's on lucets -
I have a lucet. You can purchase them from Lacis. Mine is made out of wood. It looks like the letter Y with a hole in the straight part. You make a square braid with it. Try this links:

http://www.lacis.com Then type 'lucet' in the search box.
A lyre shaped tool used to make a single strand square braid. Common in Victorian sewing boxes, it is usually made of ivory or shell. This Cherry wood lucet is available with an integral handle for ease of use.

Comes with instructions.

Leisa ReFalo

I feel sure that using a lucet is the same as knitting in the round on two stitches. There is one pictured in the Whiting "Tools" book, though she refers to it as a 'thread winder'.

Susan from Cleveland, OH

My access to the web is virtually (no pun intended) nil. But, although I don't spend much time traveling, I thought it might be nice to acquire some easy and portable craft (and no, I've *tried* to teach myself tatting without success and am tired of crochet).

Originally, I thought about tambour but I don't think I want to count the net eye while being bumped (either in a car or a plane) and I find it difficult without a standing frame anyway.

Lucet sounds intriguing enough. Can someone suggest other ways of getting the info? Get the stuff off the web onto a sheet and s-mail, perhaps? I'd be willing to trade something small (bobbin? web earrings?) for the trouble....


Tauton Press and Lark books (publishers of Pieceworks) magazine had a kit available that had a Lucet of cherry wood and a book of instructions. This was just before Christmas so it will probably still be available if you write them and ask.

Don't know if it's at all the same thing but I have a book entitled"the Technique of Tape Lace" by Ineke van den Kieboom and Anny Huijben published three languages by Batsford books- in addition to the usual commercial battenburg tapes and stitches it also has several chapters on alternative tapes including crochet tapes with very clear diagrams. Maybe that could be of some help.

Marni Harang

I recently received a catalog which has lucets (and also a book about them, I believe) in the mail... not to mention bobbin lace beginner kits. I shall let you know as soon as I find the magazine.


The lucet (named for the moon; luna) due to the 'horns of the moon' shape has been made from various materials and has been known by several names; including 'Lady's lace-loom' -- using the other meaning for the word lace. It has also been described as having something of the form of and Irish harp.

Among the uses for these cords are ornamental and practical ranging from hanging decorations around one's neck or decorating clothing to shoelaces and reins for horses.

The easiest way to begin a cord is to make a slip knot and place the loop over one prong. Remembering to always turn the lucet in the same direction, turn the lucet to wrap around the outside of the opposite prong and again around the outside of the prong with the starting loop, above the first loop. Using your fingers or a toothpick, lift the lower loop over the top loop and the horn. Tension the loop in the center of the tool. Repeat turning and lifting loops. This is the basic cord.

There are several advanced techniques.

Betty in Tennessee

Dots. Start the lucet cord as usual. After the first few knots, tie a second color to the tail of the first. Bring the cord over the top of the braid, work 5 knots (or however many you want) and then flip the second color back over the center again. Continue in this manner. Maintain the same number of knots between crossings.
0 Prong of lucet with color #1 1 looped around

-- New color laid across braid

0 Other prong of lucet with color #1 looped around
Start as for dots, but throw the second color after every knot. The second color will form a core thread and will barely show. Makes the cord stiffer and stronger.
Two additional colors may be used instead of one. Lay them in oposite directions across the center. Flip-flop them every 4 or 5 turns. The braid will look like two colors were stitched alternately through it.
Two colors may criss-cross up the sides of the braid.
Use two colors at once and let them twist. This gives a heathery effect in the braid.

Window panes.

Do the same as for 'dots', only bring color #2 across the center every time. Play with the tension and try different cords for color #2 for different effects. (For example, use a ribbon or a thicker cord).


Use two colors together as if they were one cord but.keep the same color on top all the time. The corners of your square cord.will be one color, but the centers will be the other.

Chevrons. (Backward looping.)

Try with one color first. Each time you go around a prong, make a half hitch instead of a simple loop. (The working end of the thread/yarn will come out of the the loop on the underside of the loop.) Then bring the previous loop over as normal. Tensioning is very different.

Ignorance is Bliss. Due to hurried reading of the instructions I happened upon something you may care to try. Start with two colors knotted at the end. Make your slip knot and wrap around the opposing prong with color #1. Flip Color #2 across the center. Make a series of knots in the usual fashion flipping the second color across each time. After a series of 5 - 8 knots, begin making the loops with color #2 and continue as before. Etc.

Betty in Tennessee

Brian Lemin wrote:
And before you ask what a lucet is... it is a lyre shaped tool use for making braid, It varies in size but is about 2 1/2 inches tall by say 2 inches wide and is quite thin. Once you get the knack it is very simple to use. ]
      I now have it listed onto my web site and do make lucets and also carry 20 page booklet "Lucette Cord Made Easy" by Kendra Goodnow & Albert C. Hilliger. The booklet is $6.00 USD , the lucets are $10.00 USD or both for $13.50 USD.
Enjoy, Kenn
Here is a bit more information that I have been sent via another list.

"The lucet is of ancient origin dating back more than 1000 years, it was known to the Vikings. The Swedish word for this item is Snoddcaffel and has been used through the ages to make a square knotted cord with low stretch and good strength characteristics.

In medieval Europe the Lucet was in common use as in the absence, or due to the expense of metal fasteners, many garments were drawn up or laced by the means of cords. This was continued into the 17th century and was also the common cord for hanging lockets and eyeglasses as well s being used for ornamental braid and shoe ties. The lucet would have been a common implement in the needlework box as such things had to be made in the home. Early examples were made from the tips of antlers, often they were made of ebony, bone or wood.

In the 19th century the Lucet was known as a chain fork, lutal or lyre and was used to make chains or braids. fine black silk produced a good imitation of a small French hair chain very popular in Victorian times as a neck chain, thick silk made strong watch chains. Lucets at this time were made from bone, mother of pearl, tortoise shell, wood or most popular, ivory, sometimes inlaid, sometimes carved. The lucet was widely used until the advent of the industrial revolution when machines took over the manufacture of lace and cords.

Today the Lucet still has its niche in historical societies where it is as useful as ever and has been used in crafts to make such things as key fobs, glasses cords and friendship bracelets."<


Brian Lemin wrote:
Not to be daunted, I have been asked a question about "lucets" They were originally made from bone in medieval times. Then they appear to have dropped out of sight for a few centuries, reappearing in ivory, wood bone and other materials. What happened to them in between times? What happened to braid making during that time? ]

I think the technique of making cord with a tool like a lucet would have persisted with groups that maintained traditional agricultural ways, and that the technique and fancier tool would have become a fad from time to time among the "gentry" as their leisure time permitted. Some info I found on my bookshelf:

From "The Comfortable Arts, Traditional Spinning and Weaving in Canada" by Dorothy K.Burnham, ISBN 0-88884-474-3: In Canada, the Hutterites have a tradition of making flat cord for baby binding, "...a looping technique, rather like a double crochet, that was done on the two prongs of a braiding fork..." The name of the tool isn't given but the picture is that of a lucet. The Hutterites are a German speaking sect, live a pacifist, communal life. They originated in central Europe at the time of the Reformation and looked for a peaceful place to live in many countries before settling in Dakota (USA) in the 1870's, some moving north to Canada.

An aside about the baby binding: Hutterite girls would give each other baby bindings that they'd made, as wedding gifts (Baby was supposed to be swaddled firmly, with the cords criss-crossing around the blanket and baby). Bindings could be made with the pronged fork or on a rigid heddle loom. The Hutterite "lucet" was/is wooden.

From "Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot" - Summer 1973, Handweavers Guild of America Inc. author Astrid Swenson writes: "Did you ever see a square cord? I hadn't until recently, when I was visiting the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic sea...the fishermen on Gotland have been tackling their boats for ages with square ropes, with all four sides looking like a braid." The author goes on to report she'd seen horse reins of these same ropes. The rest of the article tells how to make the cord. The fork is described thus: 8" high; 3" across at the very top; 3/8" thick, the upper part of the prongs tapering off to 3/16"

Note:   To test the principle of the lucet without having to make or buy the tool, use two fingers held up like a Vee, and wrap the yarn accordingly. A cord is thus possible, but using the tool permits better tensioning.

Bev W. in Sooke, BC Canada

Brian Lemin wrote:
[ At the recent woman's weekly craft show I was very interested in seeing the Japanese Kumihimo braids being made on the marudai stand . Specially weighted bobbins are used according to the kind of braid being used. One of our local turners makes them. Quite a fascinating technique.of braid making. It "looked" (!) easy.]

Kumihimo is fun and quite soothing when it's going right (just like my bobbin lace). It is amazing how a simple 8 strand braid can change by using other colors. And expanding into 12, 16, 32, 40 strands can make for quite complex patterns.

You can actually start out quite cheaply. Book investment is the hardest part. Roderick Owens wrote the book I started out with, but you can substitute on equipment.

Instead of a stand, you can build a cardboard one (I think Owens' book has directions). Or you can cut out a cardboard square, say 6 inches square, put in a center hole about an inch square, add slots along the edges. Instead of the traditional silk (precut lengths, don't know about availability in Australia), use perle cotton size 3 or 5 or 8, or Marlitt (warning, Fray Check the ends on this or it unravels quickly). It's great for experimenting with different fibers. My second project was in black perle and silver Kreinik braid in a simple spiral pattern, but it is elegant and holds my DH's good luck charms just fine. I sold my third project which was a chevron in black, white and red Marlitt.

Susan L. Benzer, Massachusetts, USA
Did you know, there is a mailing list for Kumihimo braiders?
And a web site?

I've copied the following text from their home page:
To subscribe,e-mail your request to: list-request@craftwolf.com
In the BODY of your message, type
SUBSCRIBE Kumihimo AS username@yourhost.xxx (Firstname Lastname)
For additional information, contact the List Sponsor:
Wheat Carr - Wandering Wolf Design - to access her website go to http://www.craftwolf.com
For E-mail on the net Wheat@craftwolf.com  

It's another nice friendly list, but I left it because I had so much else to do.

Margery, in Hertfordshire, UK

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