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Three-Strand Braided Sling, Step by Step - Victor Escobar

1 - Materials

  • Cord: I use 5mm nylon, but it can be anything else suitable, wether natural or synthetic.  5 mm makes a decent pouch. Thinner cord will make a slim pouch thus a bit more difficult to load.  
  • Paper Clamp: or something to hold cord in place at the beginning, i.e. a clothespin.
  • Thread and Needle: Use a strong thread (i.e.gütermann M1003 100% polyester)
  • Knife: or cutter or scissors whatever you're comfort with
  • Lighter: to melt the nylon/plastic fibers when trimming the cords of the release cord.

Some of the materials used:

Detail of the nylon cord I used:

2 - Starting

We need 3 pieces of cord. Depending on the material used, thickness, stiffness and length of the sling we want, pieces will be shorter or longer. With the cord I'm using, you'll need about 3x6.5m for a sling of a 112cm or 3x2.6m for a sling of 46cms. (the one in the pics)

Place the 3 pieces of cord paralel each other with ends aligned towards yourself. Find the middle of the length of cords, and place the paper clamp.

3 - Starting to braid the finger ring.

Once you've braided the desired length (nylon braid gets tight with use, so be gentle) detatch the paperclamp and make a loop joining the free cords.

4 - Now start to braid the retention cord (3 strand braid of 2 cords each strand) to the desired length.

5 - Now we are going to braid the split pouch. We separate 3 cords each side...

... and we braid 2 separate braids...


Once the split pouch is at the desired length, we join again the 6 free cords...

6 - ...and start to braid the release cord.

While we are braiding, we need to trim one of the cords (one of the central strands of the two cords) to make the release cord thinner, like a whip (latigo), and we melt the cut zone with the lighter so the fibers don't get loose.

We continue braiding for some length (There are three strands; braid two of the strands as a couple and one strand as a single) and trim one of the central strands of the two cords. 

we continue braiding (two of the strands are single and one is a double) and we trim the last double strand.

We continue braiding the three left cords to the desired length of the sling.  

Note the trim points in the central strand along the release cord of the sling:

and a closer view of the trim points:

7 - Now here comes the sewing part...

First, we sew the end of the release cord and we leave some free cord for the fluffy tail.

and now we sew the trimmed points to his strand fellow... so it won't unbraid when slinging:

here are the completed stiches:

8 - And now the fluffy tail...

We seperate the fibers at the end of the sling release cord...


Then we trim some of the fibers to give it a flame form, and here is the completed sling:

This is a short sling (46 cms) intended for increased accuracy at short/middle ranges. This is about the length I've seen some shepards using here in the Sierranevada Mountains.


- Victor Escobar

© 2007