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Modular Composite Diamond Braid vs. Braided Twine Garland

Glowby May 16, 2016 User blog:Glowby

Modular Composite Diamond Braid vs. Braided Twine Garland

I like to show my construction 'failures' as well as successes here. This is a good example.

CompoLink

Modular composite garland loop link

BBBLink

Garland loop link of 3x braided BB&B twine

I made a garland of these links about 3 yrs ago as a sort of proof of concept. I wanted to see how a 'composite' garland could perform - one with top-strings that were much heavier than its bottom-strings. To accomplish this I used the same material, diamond braid cord, but treated the tops and bottoms differently. Both started out with coring, boiling, and washing. The tops were soaked in sodium carbonate. Bottoms were very harshly bleached and abraded. Both were dyed in the same batch. It was interesting to see how differently the dye took.

The results were very good! But not good enough to justify all the effort. I tested it against one made of 3x braided cotton twine that also had 6.5" tops, but was built from a single length of braid instead of 2 and didn't have split-ring connectors between loops. Here's how they compare ...

First, the advantages of the modular composite:

Its bubble stream duration is almost as good as the twine, which is impressive considering that it was barely broken in. I expect that with time it could make *almost* as many bubbles per loop per dip.

It's much more juice-efficient than the twine. I don't have to wait so long for the bulk of the solution to drain after lifting from the bowl. It's much lighter too.

It has many fewer hang ups than the twine. The coarseness of the twine's 3x braid is surely to blame.

Being modular, I can adjust it's total length using a split ring tool. I rarely need to do this but it's nice to know I could if I wanted to.

It looks cool! Royal blue and baby blue. The twine relies on harsh bleaching for good performance and after that it takes dye very poorly no matter how you treat it.

On the downside:

Even though no hand-braiding is needed, processing 2 sets of cord differently and doing 2 whippings per loop instead of one takes a lot of time. It isn't a "commercially viable" solution to offer my clients, even without the fancy paint job on the whips.

The extra whipping and split ring take up space. Each link occupies 9 inches. With the twine, it's 8. I want as many loops per foot as is practical.

Nothing beats BB&B (Bed Bath & Beyond) cooking twine for bubble stream duration. A 3x braid is overkill for this size loop, but to me, the extra weight, juice usage, and hang ups are worth it. I get more bubbles.

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