Romanian cord, also called Romanian braid, can be used for straps, edgings, or ties. A regular crochet chain will stretch and grow thinner over time, but the Romanian cord technique creates a stronger, more stable cord to use for a drawstring. This firm, somewhat flat, construction can feel awkward to create at first but is a fast and useful technique when you get the hang of it.
Romanian cord or braid is also used to form the base of Romanian point lace. In PieceWork, January/February 2001, author Bart Elwell shares more. “In Romanian point lace, a three-dimensional braid outlines the pattern and forms a framework upon which needle-lace fillings and wrapped, twisted, or needle-woven bars are worked. This sturdy lace is traditionally worked in white or ecru. The braid itself has such a complex structure and consistent quality that it appears to be machine made; it is actually crocheted. The origins of Romanian point lace are unknown, but it is thought to have been developed in central Europe in the eighteenth century, and eventually spread to Romania.”
Here are a few tips:
- Turn cord in the same direction as if flipping a page in a book.
- Tension is important. If your stitches are too tight, creating this cord will be tedious. Try loosening it up and see if you are more comfortable. If your tension is too loose, you’ll have untidy loops that form on the sides of the braid.
- The braid feels much easier to create once you have an inch or two of the pattern established. Not sure you have it right? Keep going and see if you hit your groove. Then, try restarting and see if the beginning looks better.
Row 1 Ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook, turn.
Row 2 Sc in horizontal bar at end of row (cord edge), turn.
Row 3 Sc in 2 horizontal bars at end of row (cord edge), turn.
Rep Row 3 for patt until cord measures desired length, fasten off.
Elwell, Bart. “Ioana Bodrojan’s Romanian Point Lace.” PieceWork, January/February 2001, pages 43–44.