Early on in my collecting of Native American bracelets, I was handed a contemporary Zuni needlepoint bracelet by the maker and was told “this is a sweater bracelet”.
Zuni needlepoint sweater bracelet by Jenny Eustace
I had never heard that term before and am a firm believer in “if you don’t know, ask”, so I asked and was told it is a style of bracelet where a design element has a “drop” – that is, it drops down so it lays on the back of the wearer’s hand and can peek out of the lower edge of a long-sleeved sweater cuff. Well that made perfect sense so I have used the term ever since.
A more subtle sweater bracelet by Jenny Eustace
Here is another example of a sweater bracelet by a Navajo artist.
Petit Point sweater bracelet by Navajo Betty Etisitty
Some sweater bracelets can be quite dramatic in how much silver and stone is “dropped” onto the back of the hand.
Unmarked NOS (New Old Stock) sweater bracelet
Unmarked vintage sterling silver and turquoise sweater bracelet
Here is a versatile sweater bracelet – you can decide which color you want to peek out.
Unmarked vintage petit point sweater bracelet in turquoise and coral
Some bracelets made a gentle downward sweep at the cuff.
Tommy Jackson, Navajo
Silver sweater bracelets often come to a point as they drop.