This tutorial shows how you can weave this thoranam (toran) or room divider. This door hanging has chains of various lengths hanging down from a horizontal chain. These chains are made by interlinking woven rings. Make the chains long so they reach the floor and you have a room divider. I remember seeing these in homes in India when I was younger.
You can add a few more rings. My daughter is helping me with a preview to see how many more we should add.
Link to video tutorials at the end of this page.
Making the ring
Each ring is made with 1.25 meters of wire. You will need slightly more than one bundle of wire. So to be safe, buy 2 packets of wire if you are choosing a rare color.
The length of wire depends on the size of the ring. So cut just one wire and make a ring and see if the wire length is enough for your ring size.
You can wrap the wire around 3 or 4 fingers and weave this ring or you can use a narrow plastic bottle or PVC pipe. We just need a narrow tubular object around which we wrap the wires. We need this tubular object only for the first 3 rows.
I have added a video for this as well. Read the instructions and also watch the video. If you haven’t done this before, it might take a couple of attempts before get a proper ring. So don’t lose hope.
To make it easier, I have broken down this procedure into 5 steps (5 rounds).
Wrap the wire around 3 fingers as shown below. Note how there is a small space between the second and third finger. This will make the ring slightly bigger and make the chain look better when we interlink the rings. You can choose to make the rings bigger or smaller. If you prefer a bigger ring, you can try wrapping the wire around 4 fingers also.
The hanging end of the wire (starting end) has to be at least 2 inches long and hang down as shown in the picture. If it is too small, it will slip under the stitches and make it difficult to weave later rows. If it is too long, wire won’t be enough for the last row.
Wrap around and bring the wire to the front on the left of the hanging starting point.
Next take the wire up again and wrap around the hand but this time bring the wire to the right of the starting end of the wire.
An intersection has formed. Take the wire and weave it just above the intersection. Now the wire will be on the left of the ring.
Now roll the hand or tube towards you slightly so that you can see the wires on the back of the hand.
You will see two parallel wires. Pull the wire that is on the right over the left. To hold it in position, you might have to use your pinky finger.
Now a second intersection has been formed. Weave the wire that is on the left and take it to right side as shown below.
Now roll your hand back to its original position (palm facing you).
Lift the short wire up and insert the working wire right under it. It is important that each time we complete a round, we lift this starting end of the wire and insert the wire under it.
Round 1 has been completed.
In row 2, the wire will follow the exact same route as row 1. The wire will travel on top of round 1 which means at the end of this round, we will have parallel wires traveling around the ring.
We ended round 1 by bringing the wire to the left. Find the wire that is right next to it and follow it.
Cross the first intersection by going under 1 wire.
As you can see, round 2 is traveling on top of round 1.
Turn the hand towards you a little and continue following the wire.
Now we are back at the starting point. Lift the short wire up and insert right under it.
We will end round 2 with the working wire on the right of the ring.
In this round, the parallel wires that traveled on top of each other in previous round will be split.
The wire is on the right side of the ring now. By now the ring will be stiff enough and won’t need your hand so you can slip it off if you want. With your two thumbs gently move the wires above the first intersection sideways and you will see the parallel wires in the middle. One is at the top and one is at the bottom. This is will be right above the first intersection (marked with yellow lines in picture above)
Since the traveling wire is on the right, push the wire that is at the top to the right.
You will now have 2 wires on the right and 2 on the left. Weave the wire through the middle.
Now the wire is on the left.
If you follow the path of the parallel wires that you just split, you will be able to find the next spot where they have to be split.
Since the traveling wire is on the left now, you have to push the top wire to the left.
There will be 2 wires on the left and 2 wires on the right. Pass the traveling wire in the middle.
Now the wire is on the right and it is ready to be inserted under the starting point to end this round.
Round 3 is done and the working wire is now on the left of the ring.
Just like round 2, we will be making parallel pairs again in this round.
Find the wire that is right next to the travelling wire / working wire and follow it all around the ring.
This time, the wire will have to pass under 2 wires each time. In round 2, it had to travel under just 1 wire.
The wire is now on the right side of the ring.
Continue the path and now it is time to make it pass under another set of two wires.
The wire is on the left side of the ring now.
End this round by lifting the short wire and inserting the working wire just under it.
Round 4 will end with the wire being on the right side now.
This will be the final round. In this round, we will split the parallel wires just we did in round 3.
With your two thumbs, gently separate the wires and you will have two wires on the left and two wires on the right and in the middle you will find the two parallel wires travelling one on top of each other.
Since the traveling wire is on the right, push the top wire to the right.
Now there will be 3 on the right and 3 on the left. Pass the wire in between the left and the right group.
The wire will now be on the left.
At the next intersection, you can see the parallel wires again.
Repeat the same procedure and split them. This time the wire will travel from left to right.
End this round by lifting the starting end and inserting the wire directly under it.
The ring has been completed. So you can gently place the excess wire as a coil on the inside of the ring.
Weave the other end of the wire also as shown below.
The most efficient method of joining rings when creating long chains is by making two separate rings and joining them together by weaving a third ring between them.
It has to be done like this.
Note: The procedure for the ring is the same but for each round, the wire has to go through both the two rings.
Making thoranam / room divider
The thoranam has chains of these rings hanging down. You can decide the number of chains based on the width of your door. The length of the rings can also vary based on your preference.
As you can see, the chains are hanging from a horizontal chain.
The hanging (vertical) chains are joined to alternate rings in the horizontal chain. If you want the chains to hang right next to each other, you can add them in each ring in the horizontal chain. Only thing is, it might make the project heavy and it will require a lot of wire.
Almost done. Got a little help from my little one who helped me see how many more rings I have to add.