How to Braid Palm Leaves
Braiding palm leaves is a tradition in many cultures. Many churches use palm braiding during the Easter holiday. Other cultures braid palm leaves and other kinds of leaves to create clothing, hats and even jewelry. Other leaves that are commonly braided are banana, coconut, straw and other large tropical leaves. Today, palm braiding is used as an art form in addition to holiday celebrations. The traditional braid is the easiest form of palm leaf braiding, but there are also many other complicated and beautiful ways to braid palm leaves.
Things You'll Need
- Fresh palm leaves
Remove the green edges from the palm leaves, pulling them away from the leaves using your fingers like you are stringing peas. You will need three palm leaves per braid.
Tie three palm leaves together with the string. Discard the unused strips.
Separate the three leaves until they are only touching where the string ties them together. Take the leaf on the very left and cross it over the middle leaf, making it the new center of the three leaves. Hold the leaf in place with your fingers.
Cross the palm leaf on the right over the leaf in the middle until it is the new middle of the three palm leaves. Hold this leaf in place with your fingers.
Tighten the leaves so that the crossed leaves are as tight against each other as possible and hold the braid in place. This is important for the strength of the braid.
Continue to cross the left strand over the middle strand and then the right strand over the middle strand, tightening as you go. Continue this braid until you reach the end of the leaves.
Tie the bottom three ends of the palm leaves together with string. Make sure it is very tight or the string could slip off and the braiding will fall out.
- If the leaves are already dry, soak them in water to moisten them so that they will braid.
- Other types of braids can be used to braid palm leaves together in different methods. Most of these are much more complicated, but they offer a variety of styles that can be quite attractive.
- Use care when braiding the leaves because palm leaves can easily crack and break.
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