There was an extraordinary turn out of students to make friendship bracelets last Thursday. The final results looked beautiful and showcased the diverse styles and aesthetic preferences of our students.
What are friendship bracelets
Friendship bracelets are decorative bracelets normally gifted from the maker to a friend. It is symbolic of a friendship that will be great and everlasting. Friendship bracelets are commonly handmade with cotton embroidery floss or wool thread and embellished with charms, beads and other trinkets. There are several styles and patterns, but most are created with the half-hitch knot.
The history of friendship bracelets
The true origin of friendship bracelets is hard to decode. Some believe they date back to ancient China (481-221 BC), others claim the friendship bracelet originated in Central America and some think it began with the Native American practice of exchanging bracelets.
Historian and Jeweller Erica Weiner has theorised that it stems from 1600-1800 mourning jewellery. Mourning jewellery was made with strands of loved one’s hair:
“You’d cut a piece of your hair and have a specialist weave it into elaborate patterns within a ring or bracelet,”
“Before photography, making jewellery out of hair was one of the only ways to keep a physical part of someone close to you while you were separated.”
According to The Boston Globe, the modern resurgence and popularity of friendship bracelets began in the 1980s during protests about the vanishings of Mayan Indians in Guatemala. Friendship bracelets were brought into the United States of America by religious groups for use in political rallies.
How to make friendship bracelets
Modern day friendship bracelets don’t require much, here’s what we used:
- A variety of cotton embroidery floss and wool threads
- Sticky tape
- Charms, beads and other trinkets as desired
We started the activity with a tutorial video for those who hadn’t made friendship bracelets before.
Then we played some relaxed beats for ambience while we got to work making our bracelets.
Some students described the making process as soothing and meditative.
Some students were very skilled and made time to help those who were new to the process.
It was a nostalgic activity for our Japanese students, as making friendship bracelets is very popular in Japan, especially during high school.
You don’t need to be creative or good at crafts to make impressive friendship bracelets. The beauty of the handmade process is that no two pieces look exactly the same.
According to Folklore, when attaching a friendship bracelet, you should make a wish in that moment. It should then be worn until it is worn out and falls off by itself to respect the love put into making it. When the band falls off naturally, the wish is supposed to come true.
Students didn’t want to finish the activity, so it will surely be repeated soon by popular demand.
Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE, and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.