I spend quite a bit of time emailing with new clients. It is rare that someone knows exactly what they want and states it really clearly in the first email. (I do appreciate when that happens though)
It is really common for people to want to know more about the plait count and which one they should pick.
Lets start from the top. First, the plait count is the number of strands in the over lay. So, a 12 plait has 12 strands, 6 on one side and 6 on the other.
In leather whips the strands are cut smaller for the higher plaits and larger for the lower plaits. Often times it is explained that the smaller strands of the higher plaits are like smaller links in a chain. Therefore, the whip would be more fluid. This is only true for leather whips not synthetic whips because all the strands are the same width no matter what the plait count.
So, what does the higher count really do for a nylon whip?? Two things. First, it affects the diameter of the whips. The higher the count the bigger around the whip will be and smaller the count the slimmer it will be. There are many reasons that a person would want either. Second, it affects the weight. Because my whips are waxed, the higher plait counts will be heavier because there is more material to soak up the wax.
Bottom line- If you want a lighter faster whip go for the 12 plait. If you want a bigger louder whip, go for the 16 or 20 plait. I also offer a 14 plait that happens to be my favorite because it is a happy medium.