Those of you that braid with thread - how thick is the string?

I’ve always braided with yarn, but I want to try braiding with thread.

I bought some generic waxed thread off Amazon, and it’s .45mm thick. It looks… thin.

Most of the “specific” braiding threads don’t list their thickness… so, can anyone fill me in? If you don’t know, can you take a picture of a piece of your thread with a size reference?

Thanks in advance!

Weaver waxed braiding thread (from Big Dee’s) is 1mm thick. However, this is what I do:

Rubber band and bobby pin method.

I believe mine is 1mm. It is pretty thin – I could snap a photo for you tonight when I get to the barn. It is essentially this, but the Jo-Ann’s version (that costs all of $5)

I’m not sure what method of braiding you are going to do, but I do cobra braids (they look best with a mane that is not thinned and at least five inches in length). I learned from a COTHer how to do the quick and easy ones - braid and rubber band, and then roll up and sew with the thread. It is so simple it takes me 10-15m to do per horse – and it always looks great. You’ll need plastic sewing needles and a seam ripper. The thread is about half the thickness of a plastic sewing needle, if that’s any frame of reference at all.

Best part is it’s so easy to pull out with a seam ripper. Takes me two minutes to undo all that hard work! :laughing:


Cobra braids are what I have planned. I think it’s long enough, and I haven’t thinned it in quite some time so I think the thickness is acceptable. I’d love a picture!

@Lusoluv I bought some of those pins on amazon and I’ll give that a whirl too. I like learning new (and, easier!) ways to get good results.

Waxed thread is great but see if you can specifically find Waxed Upholsterer’s thread. It will be a bit thicker and, to me when I braided back in the dark ages, works/holds better. :wink:

1 Like

Here it is – mane puller, regular yarn, and a rubber band as scale. Sorry this was taken on my tack room floor at 9 PM, lol! The very thin black lines are horse hairs… :roll_eyes:

I have had zero issue with the braids not holding. Here’s what I do: section the mane into 8-10 braids, each the length of the metal on a mane pulling comb.

Dampen mane.
Fasten with a rubber band, and tuck the loose ends under the braid by folding the braided section back and rubber banding. It’ll make a “knob” end.
With a plastic needle, thread wax thread through the eye. I make each wax length about 8 inches.
Take braid and tightly roll it under itself until it rests against the crest of the neck (alternatively: fold braid twice)
With plastic needle and thread, pull through the rubber band section of the braid (takes feel), sew back and forth a few times (I do four times)
Cut loose ends

With this method you don’t need to tie anything, and unbraiding with a seam ripper is a charm. Sewing the wax thread through the rubber bands holds the braid tight.

This video is a pretty good loose example:


Ok awesome. I think I’m going to give it a try on two or three with the thin thread I have tonight, just to see what happens. I have thicker stuff coming, along with the hair pins @Lusoluv posted!

I’d love to learn how to do all this faster so I can do it the morning-of without having to wake up ungodly early. New mare really really really hates being braided so overnight is no longer an option.

The above method takes me 10-15m to do. It is no stress, no mess. It takes me longer to braid it than to sew. Usually about 6-8m depending on mane length to braid, then about 4-5m to sew and snip loose ends. Practice when you have free time, I would do it after a ride and time myself. Make sure you have a seam ripper though, they make unbraiding so, so easy. It’s just snip and go.

IMHO they look better the longer the mane is.


A seam ripper I have. I have in the past but my braids in with yarn. I’ve just never tried thread, or those nifty pins. I want to try and braid a little looser, as it seemed to really bother the young mare when she was braided in hunter braids. I don’t want her to hate it!

Past “button” braids, in with yarn:


I started using this waxed thread and really like it. I bought a variety pack of blunt metal needles, and the middle size is just right for being able to thread the needles but still go through a tighter braid (I rubberband the ends). I pre-cut thread and thread all the needles I think I’ll need at once to help it go faster as well.

1 Like

Nothing helpful to contribute, but dang, @endlessclimb and @beowulf, those are some nice braids!


The trick to make horse less fussy is not to start the braid too tight. Also, the SLIGHT looseness lets you push up and roll the braid so it looks like the “hood” of a cobra. You can make a slightly thin neck look like it has more of a topline! I spray or sponge on a bit of water to a section of mane, then apply cheap hair gel or a hair wax stick and comb it through, and you won’t have many flyaways. Braid the first part of the mane looser than normal, but not sloppy, and then really tighten the braiding after about the first 2-3 crossovers, band the end and foldover the straggley part and band that too. Roll the entire braid under until it’s a ball, pinch tightly with your thumb and index finger and push up on top of the crest, push your bobby pin thru and bend back both sides to create your hood. I’m a SLOW braider and have a younger horse (read: doesn’t stand perfectly still while I’m braiding). It takes me about 35 min to make 9 braids. The shadows make these look like droopy braids further down the neck, but they’re actually not :slight_smile:


When I braided I used carpet thread.


Very important for sure. I would braid “up” versus braiding “down” to get that nice hood too – section and do the first few cross overs very loosely while braiding skyward, then flip the braid down and braid as normal. Damp manes are best, like you said.


I messed around with the thin waxed thread I had on hand last night. That’s a hard no, though it did stay in for the duration of the ride. It didn’t give me warm fuzzies, and I had to tie multiple knots at the end to make a big enough “ball” that it would grab on the first pull through. Hopefully the other thread will arrive today, and the hair pins, and I can mess around a little more.

Her mane is thinner than I remember. Probably from her reaching under the fence for grass… I call it her “yoga”. :roll_eyes:

1 Like

FYI: if you end up liking the hairpin method, you can buy them at any local beauty supply store like Sally’s, etc. I get their Jumbo Hair Pins, usually 25 - 50ct in a box for around $2. You can reuse them several times before they get all bent out of shape :slight_smile:

1 Like

If you get tired of sewing them in or forget supplies like I did recently, I was surprised how adding one more rubber band helped my braids.

Band the end, twist the loose ends around the braid end and fold once. Band again. Fold a second time, and put in the third band.

For some reason three bands is exponentially better than two at making neat and secure braids.


This Thread

For these braids:


The hair pins and the thicker string showed up yesterday evening. I’m planning to mess with them both today and see how it goes!

And, the ride time came out. I wanted Intro C to be last because of the canter, and it’s first! Crap! I guess I’ll play it by ear if she’s ready for that. I think she will be fine - I’m going to school there the day before so that should help me gauge her mental capacity lol

1 Like