This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Braid. A narrow textile band or tape formed by plaiting or knitting together several strands of silk, cotton, wool, or mohair, used for the trimming and binding of garments. The production of silk and mohair goods form a branch of the larger silk manufacturing trade; which more than most others is free from season fluctuations. In silk varieties since 1887, and in mohair since 1890 the bulk of these goods consumed by the domestic trade have been manufactured in this country. The braids produced at Patterson, N J., outrival the best that Europe can produce, whether in quality of material and consequent durability, in exellence of weaving, or in finish. In the numbering of braids they are designated as being of so many "lines" according to the number of ribs they possess. If a braid has four ribs running lengthwise from end to end, it is called a 4-line braid. In numbering cords and other similar materials there is no uniform system adopted. Their description is supposed to be based on the number of main strands that enter into their construction, but this is not always the case. The majority of standard wool dress braids, such as "Goff's," "Corticella," etc., are numbered 61, which signifies that the braid is composed of 61 threads. This may easily be determined by counting the ribs - which will be found to be 15 - each rib or plait being composed of 4 threads = 60 + 1 thread necessary to start the web = 61. On account of one thread being necessary to start the plaiting of a braid, all braids if "sized" according to the number of individual threads which compose the texture will be found to bear odd numbers. Formerly they were all so numbered, but in recent years the width of fine silk and mohair braids is indicated by the number of longitudinal ribs in their tructure.