Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Make Twine Reins

Years ago, when my grandparents were feeding square baled hay, my grandfather would always collect the strings then use them to start fires in the shop wood stove.  My grandmother thought this was wasteful and wanted to use the twine for something useful.  My sister C set out to see what she could make with it.  One of the most useful things for me that she came up with were reins.  
 Start with 3 pieces of twine, folded over so you will be braiding with six strands.  The ends need to be staggered, more on that later.
 A simple 3 strand braid to make a loop,
 then start braiding with the six strands together.  It basicly is just weaving, take the top strand and just weave over/under.  The loop will be used to run the end through to connect it to the bit.
 When one of the pieces starts to get short (and this is why you stagger, so you are only adding pieces one at a time) another piece of twine needs to be added to increase the length.  I first fray the edges,
 then mush them together,
 then twist them tight.  I try to have enough overlay to complete a full braid.  The more overlap, the stronger the completed rein will be.
 On this set I sewed the end to a snap to make a set of looped reins.
 If I'm making split reins, I sew the end and leave some to fray.
Here's a set of split reins, about 7 1/2 feet long, 
and here are the looped reins, about 10 feet long.   A set will last several years and they never need cleaning, and they are FREE.
They really are not that rough, maybe a little to start with but the more they are used the smoother they get.  What have you made out of twine?


fernvalley01 said...

wow! those are great! I wondered how to make them so nice and flat

C said...

Nice demonstration (I liked the green twine mixed in with the yellow - I think it made it clearer what was going on).

I'm pretty sure the idea to make reins was yours or L's idea. I just worked on the how. You have perfected the process.

Nice job.

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