Friendship is very important to everyone. Friends show their connection to each other in a variety of different ways. One way that dates back many years is with friendship bracelets.
Going Back in Time
It is believed that this type of bracelet goes back many years and is classed as being ancient. They lost their popularity for many years until the 1980s.
During the time that the disappearance of the Mayan Indians and also the peasants in Guatemala began to surface, so did the friendship bracelets. To bring attention to the plight of these people, others would wear friendship bracelets. They would be made and sold with the majority of the proceeds going to the families who were suffering from the disappearance of their loved ones. The wearing of the friendship bracelets became widespread. In the United States, it was common to see protestors wearing them when participating in political rallies.
It is believed that partly because of the surge of the friendship bracelets in the 1980s that it spurred on the popularity of these bracelets to be used as a symbol of friendship among friends. They can also be a symbol of folk art, and some wear them to make social statements like those worn during the rallies.
There are some discrepancies as to the origins of the friendship bracelet. It is widely accepted that they are part of the culture of the South and Central American Indians. However, based on some of the knots used in the various patterns, these can be traced back to China. These can be traced as far as 481 to 221BC.
There are traditions behind the friendship bracelets. One of these is for a friend to tie a bracelet onto the wrist of someone they consider to be their friend. As they do so, they are to make a wish. The friend wears the bracelet constantly until it deteriorates to the point where it falls off. The wearing of the bracelet until it reaches this point is done by way of appreciation of the efforts that went into making the bracelet. It is said that once the bracelet falls off, then the wish that was made is granted.
This is a form of friendship bracelet that is considered to be a good luck charm on an international basis. It is made with a variety of different types of knots and techniques. Very similar to the traditional friendship bracelet. It can be made from a variety of different materials such as embroidery floss or even thread. Sometimes they are made with gimp.
There are different components of the friendship bracelet that are said to have different meanings.
The Thread Count
Some friendship bracelets are made with particular emphasis being put on the thread count. For example, bracelets made with the thread count in mind can signify that a bracelet made with three strands of material means the past, present, and future.
The Thread Colors
Others put the focus on the color of the threads. They are made for a specific person with colors that depict the nature and character of the recipient of the bracelet.
The original friendship bracelets were made with some basic common materials as listed below.
- Embroidery Thread
This is a type of yarn that can be hand made or now is machine-made. The embroidery threads are often made from 2 ply yarn or fine wool. Some versions are made from a form of acrylic. It can also be made from silk or linen and sometimes rayon. These different materials can lend to the strength of the floss.
Thread is very similar to embroidery thread except it is a single strand and is not woven like the embroidery thread is.
Gimp is a much stronger form of a thread that is often used in the making of friendship bracelets. It is made from silk or wool threads or even cotton. It is then made stiffer with the induction of wire cords that run through the thread.
The type of materials chosen, as well as the pattern being used, will dictate the strength of the friendship bracelets.