Fingerloop braiding is braiding with closed loops, instead of the more common open-end braiding. Fingerloop braiding is faster than “normal” braiding, although a braider working alone is limited by the reach of his/her arms. Throughout centuries fingerloop braided strings have been used for fastenings and drawstrings as well as reinforcing and decoration.
Several fingerloop braiding manuals have survived from 15th and 17th centuries. Especially in the 17th century English manuals the instructions are fairly short and cryptic, but luckily there’s usually a sample braid attached to the braid “recipe”. Most work on these manuals has been done by Noëmi Speiser and if you really want to understand fingerloop braiding, her books are a must (although a bit hard to get).
However, if you just want to learn how to do fingerloop braiding, I hope that these pages fill that requirement by June 2012. The technique is easier than what one would assume from the results and the simpler braids can be taught to even quite young children (and not-so-nimble adults). I enjoy teaching fingerloop braiding, because the only things needed are yarn, scissors and a sturdy table or railing or something else that can serve as a sturdy fastening point.