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Military Braid or Piping

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:58 pm
by Marghec
Hi all, I am seeking a supplier of Military Braid or Piping, the sort of rope used for decorative knots etc on 19th and 20th Century uniforms. I hope that the informed will forgive the fact that I do not even know what it is correctly called. I need about 20 yards (yes I am ageing) of certainly scarlet, white, light blue, and green. Possibly other colours as well. I have searched the web and this forum, but am hampered by the fact that as I have already said, I do not even know what it is correctly called. If anyone can advise me, either on this site or directly on

Thanks and best wishes,

John Tremelling

Military Braid or Piping

Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:26 pm
by Marghec

It would even be a great help if anyone would tell me what it is correctly called.


Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:35 am
by Neibelungen
It comes in three forms.. round and square, and flat

The round is generally termed an orris cord or round cord. Usually a 16s plait. Usually in sizes of 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 width, though sometimes by the metric equivalent. of 3, 4 and 5-6mm Available in synthetics, worsted, mylar metalics and metals depending on price. Can be single, bi or tri coloured £1.50 to £30.00 meter prices depending on materials.

Square cord in sizes as above. Usually 8-16 heavy twist threads plaited in square form £3.00 to £30.00 meter prices

Flat can be :
russia or tracing braid (wrapped threads around two central cores forming a tramline effect) in sizes and materials as round cord. £1.50 to £15.00
Gutless ( a round cord with no core) £1.50 to £10
French Braid (appears like gutless but woven flat and hence not hollow) £1 to £15
Chain Gimp (thread wrapped heavy single cord plaited into a continious set of loops in a2-3 loop trumpet cord pattern) £15 to £45+

Lastly flat lace (woven pattern braid) usually in mylars and metals, though not commonly used for frogging. usually 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/2 and 2" £3.00 to £75.00 per meter

What type you require depends on the accuracy of the costume desired and the nationality and date as they vary throughout the period.

Variations are commonly russia up to about 1810 on english dragoons, round cord on earlier dragoon and post 1805 hussar, french used primarily square cord. Most uniforms switching to chain gimps post 1820's. post 1860 is various mixtures of all above plus mohair braids as well in similar forms.

Prices you pay often reflect on the quality of materials and the tightness of the weaves required. Nothing termed gold or silver coming out of pakistan is actual metal and is likely to be washed brass or copper wire. The French weave the best laces but are more expensive than Uk except on quantity.

If a non-standard pattern or colour or non-stock item, expect a 25-100m minimum order quantity.

Military Braid or Piping

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:17 am
by Marghec

Thanks Neibelungen, a great help, good to hear from someone knowledgeable. It is mostly the square type which I require, together with some round, 1/4". I am not a tailor as you may have guesed, but wish to add piping to some khaki service dress uniforms which I have to enhance them for 1901-1907 various Imperial Yeomanry Regiments. Where can I get it?

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:33 am
by Andysmith
Try Toye, Kenning & Spencer (the embroidery/regalia section)...they made the embroidered 'badges' for our 1st Foote Guards (1685) Grenadiers' excellent bespoke job they did of it too - they also stock the complete range of military braiding/lacing as they supply ceremonial stuff to the UK's (and other nations') armed forces. I can't remember their e-mail addy so 'tis a 'search engine' job methinks.

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:01 pm
by nerf herder
got mine from


Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:38 pm
by Nigel
which is the place what actually makes it

Military Braid or Piping

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:00 pm
by Marghec
Thanks for the advice everyone.

Best wishes and productive winter stiching,

John T