Alternative Bracelet Closures
Harriet poses this question:
Do you have a finishing tecknique for bracelets that is more rock and roll and not with beads and sweet stuff? it is a customer question to me, and I am thinking hard on this one. 1) a push button: one part (male) on one end and the other (female) part on the other if I make the fabric long enough? 2) a “borrelås” a band with one sticky part and one soft part? Hm not easy. Can my teacher help, please?
Harriet already knows this, but for the rest of you, I love questions like this! They invite us to think creatively to expand an idea, solve a problem, make new connections. This is my favorite part of designing. So let’s dive in and solve this problem so Harriet can satisfy her customer.
Harriet is referring to bracelets we make in our Embroider Me! Bracelet Basics & Beyond class, which is not yet listed here on the new site.
I think your proposed solutions are great. The “push button” you mention is called a “snap” here. I think your second idea is referring to what we call “Velcro.” That’s the name of a company that makes the product; the generic name is supposed to be “hook and loop” tape or closure, but the material is best known as Velcro. I think the Velcro might be a little bulky, though. We’ll have two layers of the embroidery plus the snap or Velcro.
The first idea to come to my mind is simply two braided tails coming off both ends, like friendship bracelets, that are then knotted together around the wrist. Friendship bracelets are typically worn all the time–through showers, mud baths, and everything else. Bracelets worn that way will eventually wear out, which is, of course, fine. Or, the bracelet can be knotted so that it’s big enough to slip on and off over the hand.
Instead of braided fibers, how about a leather cord?
Most, if not all, closures can be added to the end of the bracelet without the beads. If there is a “rock and roll” closure–and I won’t pretend to be an expert on identifying those–it might be applied to the end with just a jump ring. Equally important may be the kind of metal used in the closure. Shiny strikes me as sweet and feminine, but what about copper, dull brass, pewter, or stainless steel?
Or how about substituting metal tubes (think bugle beads) for the more dainty beads?
If pressed, I’d say toggle closures might be perceived as more “rock and roll” than, say, a lobster claw. I find them much easier to fasten, but slightly less secure.
They can be nicely plain or rope-like. And what about pairing a plain bar toggle piece with a washer from the hardware store? While you’re at the hardware store look around and see what else you might use in embroidery. I can think of several uses for O-rings.
Other potentially “rock and roll” clasps might be a ball-and-hitch or magnetic. Ball-and-hitch are also easy to fasten. I’m a little leery of magnetic clasps because magnets and digital devices tend to not be friends. I have no idea how strongly magnetized the clasps are or if there’s any danger to digital devices or cds or dvds, but it’s not an experiment I’m eager to make, either.
When searching for alternative findings, a good keyword right now might be “steampunk.” You’ll find gunmetal, antique brass, bronze, pewter, and black alternatives to the mainstream silver and gold.
All right. What other ideas do you have for more “rock and roll,” less sweet and pretty bracelet finishing?
Some places to find jewelry findings online (I have no affiliation with any of these, except as a customer):