A friendship bracelet is a bracelet given by one person to another as a symbol of friendship. Friendship bracelets are often handmade, usually of embroidery floss or thread. There are various styles and patterns, but most are based on the same simple half-hitch knot. The making of friendship bracelets is a version of macrame.
The amount of thread used in bracelets varies depending on the pattern. The smallest pattern, a double chain knot, requires two strings. The candy stripe can have as few as three strings or as many as infinity strings, based on the desired thickness.
Friendship bracelets first became popular in the United States during the 1970s and are commonly worn by both male and female teenagers. They are now popular throughout the world and are not only popular among teenagers but among the older generation; they are popular among celebrities as well. Friendship bracelets can be worn on various occasions; for example, they are ideal as a fashion accessory at the beach because they are made of materials that will not be easily destroyed and with which one can swim freely.
Friendship bracelets are ancient, but their resurgence is modern. The fad of friendship bracelets reappeared when they were seen during protests about the disappearances of Mayan Indians and peasants in Guatemala. The friendship bracelets were brought into the United States by religious groups for use in political rallies.
Friendship bracelets can have many meanings and symbolic uses, such as friendship, folk art, or social statements. Although it is generally accepted that the origins of these colorful bands lie with the Indians in Central and South America, some decorative knots can be traced back to China from 481 to 221 B.C. According to tradition, one ties a bracelet onto the wrist of a friend who may wish for something at that moment. The bracelet should be worn until it is totally worn out and falls off by itself, at which moment the wish is supposed to come true.
Pattern names vary slightly depending on location, but are overall similar.
- Alpha bracelets (with letters/symbols)
- Basic diagonal stripe
- Bordered chevron
- Broken ladder
- Candy Stripes
- Inverse chevron
- Chinese Staircase
- Christmas Tree
- Diagonal trees
- Dog den
- Double chain knot
- Double chevron
- Easter Egg
- Flip Flop Candy Stripe
- Flip Flop Zig Zag
- Mini Hearts
- Rag rug
- Star of David
- Swirl and braids (a combination of a braid and Chinese staircase)
- The Egyptian
- The Wrap
- Totem pole
- Zig zag
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- Black: loneliness, sadness, fearlessness
- Blue: purity, friendship, water
- Green: youth, nature, harmony
- Grey: age, punctuality, insensitivity
- Orange: energy, sexuality, fire
- Pink: love, tenderness, attachment
- Purple: dreams, wisdom, mystics
- Red: joy, love, passion
- White: purity, truth, independence
- Yellow: hope, sunshine, beauty
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