This is one of my Blog posts from awhile back. I thought I would share it again with my new subscribers.  We all love the process of braiding. However, often times our efforts fall short when it comes to finishing our braids. I hear about alot of braids that are just  waiting for their end caps. I have a few tips to take the fuss out of finishing
Determine how you will finish the ends. One of the first things to consider is what your braid is made of. Is the fiber synthetic or natural?

  • If the braid is a synthetic fiber (i.e. C-Lon, S-Lon, Nylon, Polyester, etc.) you can cut or "zap" the ends with a thread burner. The thread burner has a very hot tip and this hot tip very quickly cuts and melts the end of the cord. If done correctly, the cut is accurate and the ends are melted together and they will not come undone. At this point, the end is ready for an end cap.

    There are several thread burners on the market. Some are a little "sturdier" than others and last longer and some are more powerful in that they can cut and melt a thicker braid. I have used the BeadSmith Thread Zap II as well as the BeadSmith Cord Zap (Heavy Duty). The BeadSmith Cord Zap is awesome. It melts through an 8 strand braid of C-Lon Tex 400 like a hot knife in butter. It is amazing. Just be careful! Click here to get a Cord Zap from What a Braid.
  • If the braid is made up of a natural fiber, like embroidery floss, perle cotton, USA made Rayon/Cotton Satin Cord, Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon, Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Silk, etc., melting the end of the braid is NOT an option. Natural fibers do not melt. In this case, one option is to stitch the ends to prevent raveling. I take a needle and sewing thread and stitch carefully back and forth through the braid a few of times. The idea is to catch some of the ends. I then wrap the thread around the braid, tie the thread off with a knot and the cut the braid near the stitching. It is important to work neat and clean. 
  • I have also experimented with and had fairly good results using Fray Block on both synthetic and natural fibers braids to halt the raveling process. I use the tip of the Fray Block bottle to carefully saturate the area of braid that I want to cut. After the saturated section of braid has thoroughly dried (very important) I cut the braid. This has worked quite well. This is the method I use alot and it works great for me. Just let the Fray Block dry thoroughly and only apply it in the area where you will be cutting. Click here to get a tube from What a Braid.

When the ends are finished, you can easily insert them into your end caps. Everyone has their own favorite when it comes to glue. I, along with many of my braiding friends, swear by WeldBond Universal Glue. It is easy to use, odorless, dries in an hour, cures in 24 and dries clear. If you let the glue really dry, the hold is phenomenal. WeldBond is available at some craft stores as well as Ace Hardware (in stores and on-line). I have seen Weld Bond at Michaels as wells Ace Hardware. If you don't have an Ace hardware store near by, you can order it on-line.

The most important thing is to work neat, clean and minimally. Make sure you have all the correct tools and your work space is in order. Be methodical and neat and your results will be excellent.