The Braider Journal

This page is about a Journal, which was produced in about ten years from 1995 on. It describes new ideas and methods for making braids. It was the work of Georg Schaake, a tireless researcher for over 30 years into the problems of making braids and understanding how they can be described, evolved and classified.

He and I have made great efforts to spread his ideas to other knot-tyers around the world, with limited success. I hope that through this web-site, I will be more successful. He has discovered much of value, and I do not want that knowledge to die with him … we are both in advanced years, so there is a certain urgency to my project.

UPDATE: I am now offering The Braider Journal and several more braiding publications for download in PDF form. The available files are as follows:

The Braider – Volume I ( Issue Numbers 1–15 )  
The Braider – Volume II ( Issue Numbers 16–30 )  
The Braider – Volume III ( Issue Numbers 31–45 )
The Braider – Volume IV ( Issue Numbers 46–60 )
A Collection of Braiding Pamphlets  
A Series of Four Braiding Books
Flat Braid

I will finish this page with a brief description of Georg’s life and recent work, and explain how the Journal came to be produced.

A. G. Schaake and his work on braids

Albertus George Schaake was born in Holland in 1933. He studied Engineering at Delft Technical University, before emigrating to New Zealand in 1962. His career has been spent first as a Public Works Engineer, and then as a Tutor in Engineering subjects at the Waikato Polytechnic in Hamilton, N.Z.

For the last thirty years he has devoted countless hours to the study and practice of braiding : to the creation of decorative braids in particular. Towards the end of the 1980s, he began a project to publish his discoveries (that is when I first met him). He quickly produced a stream of books, pamphlets, articles and research papers on a variety of topics in braiding theory, and I helped him to get them published in some form or other.

These publications ranged from books on Regular Knots, Fiador Knots and Herringbone Knots through to extensive pamphlets on the braiding of Wheel-knots. For a lengthy account of the progress and philosophy of this work up to 1995, please read chapter twelve of ‘History and Science of Knots’ edited by J. C. Turner and P. van de Griend, and published by World Scientific (1995).

In 1995, such was the large output of Schaake’s ideas on the subject, that he decided to produce a quarterly Journal which would summarize and extend the description of his work. He called the Journal ‘The Braider'; and in the next eleven years, virtually single-handedly, he produced 60 issues. Such was his industry and application that when he stopped his researches, due to illness in 2006, he had already prepared quarterly issues which would take the series up to November 2009.

In total, some 1600 pages of ideas, philosophies, theories, and instruction on design and production of decorative braids, have flowed from his computer and have been included in the issues of ‘The Braider’.
In all these issues there are numerous diagrams which illustrate the theories and techniques. All of these were produced by Schaake by means of a computer-aided design package.

Georg Schaake may truly be said to be the father of Modern Braiding Theory. Very little of consequence existed before he began his researches.

The four-volume collection may be taken as a text for all braiders, from beginners to the most advanced. It is essential reading for all serious decorative braiders.