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What do the colors of string bracelets mean?

What do the colors of string bracelets mean?

String bracelets, also known as friendship bracelets, have been a popular jewelry trend for decades. These braided bracelets are often made from embroidery floss or thread and feature different colors and patterns. But the colors in string bracelets are more than just decorative – they often carry meaning about friendship, support, and shared experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the significance behind some of the most common string bracelet color meanings.

History of String Bracelets

The origins of string bracelets can be traced back thousands of years to Central and South America. Ancient civilizations like the Incas and Mayans wove bracelets out of fabric or yarn, both as decoration and to signify social status and group affiliation.

The popularity of string bracelets surged in the 1970s when they became a staple of the bohemian and hippie subcultures. During this time, colorful macrame and bracelets woven on rainbow looms gained popularity as an easy DIY jewelry craft. Teens and youth groups began making bracelets for friends as a symbol of friendship and connection.

While styles have evolved over the decades, this core meaning behind string bracelets has remained constant. The act of making and trading these bracelets represents friendship, community, and shared experiences.

Significance of Specific Colors

Most string bracelets use embroidery floss with 6 strands of colored thread. The colors and combinations chosen for the bracelets often carry meaning. Here are some of the most common string bracelet color meanings:

Color Meaning
Red Energy, strength, love, courage
Orange Creativity, adventure, determination
Yellow Happiness, optimism, intellect
Green Nature, growth, health
Blue Peace, harmony, loyalty
Purple Wisdom, dignity, independence
Pink Compassion, love, femininity
Black Power, elegance, formality
White Purity, innocence, simplicity

As you can see, each hue carries its own symbolic meaning. Giving someone a bracelet of a certain color can be a way to share a specific message.

2 Color Combinations

While single color string bracelets are common, many friendship bracelets also incorporate two-tone color schemes. Some popular color combos include:

Colors Meaning
Red and Black Power and passion
Pink and Purple Femininity and creativity
Blue and Green Harmony and growth
Orange and Yellow Energy and joy
Red and White Love and purity

Mixing two vibrant shades creates a bracelet that combines the symbolism of both colors. Popular shade combos focus on complementary meanings like love and happiness or adventure and self-expression.

Rainbow Bracelets

One of the most popular options is the rainbow string bracelet. As you can guess, these feature a sequence of all colors tied together in one braid.

The rainbow design represents:

– Diversity – The range of colors reflects openness to all types of people and perspectives.

– Pride – Rainbows are a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride and acceptance.

– Optimism – Vibrant rainbows represent hopefulness and joy.

– Inclusiveness – Blending many shades together shows acceptance and community.

A rainbow bracelet is a way to promote themes of love, tolerance, diversity and bright optimism. They are commonly exchanged as a symbol of friendship and goodwill.

Meaning of Complex Bracelet Patterns

In addition to color, more complex string bracelets feature various patterns like chevrons, alternating blocks, zig-zags or diamonds. The intricate designs require following a mapped out braiding technique.

Some meanings associated with common patterns include:

Pattern Meaning
Chevron Everlasting friendship
Spiral Growth, flexibility
Zig-Zag Changes in life
Blocks Stability, order
Hearts Love and caring
Star Guiding light, brightness

The more intricate the pattern, the more skill it requires to make the bracelet. A complex braid represents time and effort, making it more meaningful.

Key Messages to Share

While the colors hold symbolism, the true significance of a bracelet is the love and connection between giver and recipient. Some key messages that can be communicated through these handmade gifts include:

– Friendship – String bracelets represent the bond between friends and are a keepsake of that relationship.

– Support – Giving a bracelet shows you are there for someone during difficult times.

– Appreciation – A bracelet can convey gratitude for someone’s role in your life.

– Encouragement – Meaningful colors can provide motivation and optimism.

– Affection – Intricate designs express the depth of love or romantic interest.

– Remembrance – Bracelets help commemorate shared memories and experiences.

– Group affiliation – Wearing matching bracelets shows belonging to a particular team, club or cause.

The act of creating and gifting a string bracelet adds a personal touch to any message.

How to Make Bracelets

Half the fun of string bracelets is learning how to make them yourself! Here are some easy steps to follow:

Materials Needed:

– Embroidery floss, yarn or threads
– Scissors
– Tape or clipboard (to hold strands taut)
– Safety pin, tape or clip (to join ends)


1. Cut 6 strands of embroidery floss to your desired bracelet length.

2. Tape or clip strands to a surface to keep taut.

3. Tie threads together at one end.

4. Begin braiding by gathering strands into groups of 3. Take the right group over the middle then the left group over.

5. Continue alternating from right to left, one group over the other.

6. When complete, tie free ends together and trim.

7. Add clips or tape to join into a circle.

Follow online video tutorials for more complex techniques like zig-zag, spiral and chevron patterns. Have fun with color combinations and create matching sets for friends!


String bracelets have carried deep significance since ancient times. The colors and patterns used represent friendship, support, pride, love and important causes. With creativity and some practice, you can craft meaningful bracelets for the special people in your life. So tie on a bracelet and spread some positivity today!