The History of Friendship Bracelets

The History of Friendship Bracelets

Whether a homemade gift between BFFs, a souvenir from international travels, or a treasured keepsake from a boutique or gift shop, the friendship bracelet has a unique story to tell.

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THE BRACELET A friendship bracelet is a special, often handmade, piece either created for, or intentionally chosen for a beloved friend or relative. Most commonly, they are made with cotton embroidery thread, however other materials such as hemp, linen, or plastic thread are also known to be used. The bracelets’ vibrant designs are created when the crafter either ties or weaves colorful thread in special knotted patterns. This is traditionally done by hand, but can also be accomplished with a loom. THE HISTORY While the exact origins of the knot-tying techniques used in friendship bracelets are a bit unclear, both ancient Chinese culture and Arabian culture are cited as likely having influenced the craft. The Chinese are among the earliest civilizations known to have developed decorative knot-tying techniques, which evolved into fashion accessories and household items, among other things. The art of macramé, where knots are tied into intricate patters, is cited to have begun in 13th century Arabia. Both having the craft of knotting at their core, it’s easy to see how these cultures can serve as logical precursors of our beloved bracelets. THE LORE Friendship bracelets are layered with meaning. Some of the most popular callouts being… As a symbol of friendship, these bracelets are thoughtfully given to a specific person. In friendship bracelet protocol, the recipient is supposed to wear the bracelet until it falls off from becoming so worn. This honors the hard work the giver put into creating the bracelet and/or the thoughtfulness of the giver. - In some styles the number of threads used have special meaning. In our PRECIOUS THREADS Collection, the three strands of the braided style represent past, present, and future. - The color of the threads used sometimes has meaning, as specific colors are chosen to speak to the character of the intended recipient. Similarly, specific color schemes can be chosen to match the personality of the recipient. - Adornments such as beads and charms are sometimes added for extra flair. The new additions to our Kindred Cord Collection come in sets of two solid black thread bracelets, but have matching charms symbolizing your special bond. THE PERFECT PIECE Whether homemade or selected with a special person in mind, friendship bracelets are the perfect piece to speak to meaningful relationships because they are made and given with love. If you’re ever at a loss for what to give a good friend for an upcoming celebration, remember the deep-rooted meaning of this simple, yet thoughtful token to honor your treasured friendship.