slings were made by ancient slingers and continue
to be popular by contemporary slingers. They are
easy to make, work well, and beautiful craft objects,
too. These instructions are for a 39", or
one meter, long sling, the simplest form of all
braided slings based on a continuous triple-braid.
It features a finger loop, split pouch for the
stone, and can be braided in any length to suit
your first sling, use nylon #18 string sold in craft
and hardware stores, and sometimes called "Mason's
Line." It is inexpensive and readily available.
string 1/16" (1.5mm) wide will work. Many people
like to use natural fibers for a historically authentic
sling. 48 pound hemp works well. Smaller and larger
string can be used, just alter the number of strings
are in inches followed by the metric equivalent
in centimeters in parenthesis unless otherwise noted.
six lengths of string 110" (280cm).
this pictorial, I've chosen three colors to illustrate
the 3-strand braid better. You may use one color.
all the string and double to find the middle.
the strings at the middle. A spring clamp works
the string into three strands. In this case, the
three colors of string.
you already know how to braid three strands, skip
this and the next panel.
three strands is the same as braiding hair. The
outermost strand always goes over the middle one
only to become the new middle one itself. A strand
in this sling is composed of two strings. Keep
the strands tight. It helps to secure the braid
to a stationary object so you can pull the braid
making a three-strand braid of many strings, how
the strings are oriented changes the braid.This
is useful in making a sling.
the strands are 'rolled' over the previous strand,
it makes a "round" braid. Fast. Good
for 'down' and 'release' cords.
the strands are kept flat and parallel, it makes
a "flat" braid. Slow. Good for 'finger
loops' and 'pouches.'
a 'flat' braid for 4" (10cm). This will become
the 'finger loop.'
the ends of the 'finger loop' together and secure.
Separate the string into three equal strands.
a 'round' braid the 'down cord' for 14" (36cm)
finished with the 'down cord', secure the braid
and separate each of the strands evenly into two,
new strands of six strings each. Divide each of
these into three strands and begin flat braiding
one set to become the 'pouch.'
braid the 'pouch' for 4" (10cm) as shown. Repeat
for the second side of the pouch.
the two pouch cords and evenly divide their strings
into three new strands. Begin an 18" (46cm)
round braid for the 'release cord'.
finished, take two of the three strands and tie
a square knot to secure the braid. Nylon is slippery,
you may want to add a drop of super-glue to secure.
the ends. Use a match or hot surface to melt the
nylon strings to prevent unraveling.
people like a smooth release cord. Others prefer
a knot. Tie an overhand knot in the release cord
to make a 'release knot.' You can move the knot
to adjust the cords so the pouch is centered during
instructions make a short sling good for practicing
your braiding technique. If you want to make longer
slings you will need to begin with longer strands.
To make an finished sling 'x' long the formula is:
'x' times 2.8.
the size of the finger loop to suit yourself,
change the size of the pouch to suit your stones.
4" is good for stones the size of a golf
ball; 6" for tennis ball size stones.
slings to the left are made from #18 Nylon (6
strings), 20# Hemp (6 strings), and Sisal (6 strings).