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Leaf Trading Post


Gripfids, Leaf Trading PostGripfids, Leaf Trading PostGripfids

information and prices

Gripfids are the specialised tool used in ply-split braiding. Although other things can be used, I think that having the right tool for the job adds to the enjoyment of the creative process. I make these gripfids here in the workshop, and use them in my ply-split braiding work. They come in three sizes, in short and long versions, and there is also a blunt awl-type tool that comes in useful for many purposes. The handles are round and comfortable in the hand, and sit well in the palm. You can buy them individually, or as a set.

Gripfids and cords for ply-split braidingGripfids and cords for ply-split braidingI started making shorter gripfids after working a lot with POT type stitches. I found that I didn't enjoy a longer gripfid for such repeating, close work, and by using a short gripfid I could also use my fingers, so my whole hand was engaged with the motion, not just the end of the longer gripfid. For SCOT, the longer ones are useful, as they can hold many cords at one time, for one 'stitch'.

If I've made a mistake in my ply-splitting work, or missed a cord in SCOT for example, I find the blunt awl-type tool useful - I can insert it in the gripfid's slot, in reverse, with the gripfid holding several SCOT stitches, then remove the gripfid. I can then pick up the missed cord, and re-engage with the other cords I'd picked up before, without having to pick them up all over again. The blunt awl tool is also useful at the end of a created piece, for teasing out the strands of a cord, or, during a piece, to mark a place in the work. Yes, you could also easily make your own by putting a darning needle or equivalent into a cork/handle, and I encourage people to be inventive and make their own tools to suit their needs.

I've found that the gripfids are also really useful for fibre and rush basketry, particularly for borders. For rush basketry, where the material used is damp, there is no concern for the gripfid corroding; the inner surface is brass. It is good practice, however, to ensure that the gripfids are dry before storage and in between uses.

Unsure of what size to buy?
Well, the ends of the cords will be slightly thinner than the cord diameter, as you've taped the ends snugly. The gripfid should be a reasonable match for your cord. You can hold the cord to a ruler and see the width of it, and compare that to the sizes above. Or, you could hold your cord next to various drill bits, and see what size it is. If in doubt, you can always send me a sample cord and I can photograph it in the various gripfids for you.

The sizes and prices of my gripfids are:

 Size of gripfid



Overall length (approx)













   8 cm









 4 (blunt awl)














I also stock two sizes of gripfids made by Pony      Pony gripfidsPony gripfids
I've found that the edges of the hole/slot are not 'grippy' though. So, you can use them as a gripfid, but, the cord you grip won't stay there on its own. Use them to create a channel for the cord - push the gripfid through the ply, feed the cord into the hole/slot, and pull the whole thing through. The sizes and prices are:

Size of Pony gripfid



Overall length (approx)









   5 mm



Spring GrippersSpring Grippers
Spring grippers, £1 each
I make these (yes, you could also make your own) and they're useful for gripping different threads when cord winding, rather than tying knots each time.



How to buy:
At present I don't have an online shop, but ordering is still fairly simple:
- email me with your order, referring to grid form below as the order form (or take a screen shot for your reference). I can email this to you if you'd prefer. If you're outside of the UK the postage may be different.
 - let me know your order and how you would like to pay (bank transfer or PayPal funds transfer)
 - I'll send you an invoice with payment details, and/or PayPal funds request
 - after you've paid, I'll post your order out to you!
If I create an online shop in the future, you can order through there or by this way.

For workshop tutors, buying in bulk:
If you're buying many gripfids of the same size, I will give a small discount.

Any questions?
I'm Helen Leaf, of Leaf Trading Post, and you can email me at or by using the contact form. If you email me, I can send you a pdf of all of this page plus order form.


















  Contact email








  Items ordered:


   Price each



   4mm short gripfid

   4mm long gripfid







   6mm short gripfid

   6mm long gripfid







   8mm short gripfid

   8mm long gripfid







   Blunt awl tool




   The set: one each of     all of the above





   Spring grippers 




   Pony 4.5 gripfid

   Pony 6.5 gripfid












Postage (UK*)