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Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads".


Kumihimo cord was first created by a form of finger-loop braiding. Later tools such as the marudai and the takadai were employed to make more complex braids in shorter time. The most prominent historical use of the cords was by samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their lamellar armour and their horses' armor (barding). Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).

A modern kumihimo disk made of firm but flexible foam plastic with notches can also be used as a portable marudai. The disks have 32 notches that create the tension that is usually created by tama on a marudai. The disks are convenient but are not as versatile as the marudai. On a marudai, any thickness or amount of string can be used, but on a disk only 32 or fewer strand braids can be made from thin cord. Also, marudai can make many types of braids, such as flat, four sided, and hollow. There are also rectangular foam cards, especially suitable for making flat braids.

The foam kumihimo disk is lightweight, portable, and significantly more affordable than the traditional marudai. Braiders can create complex braids up to 24 bobbins and incorporate beads. There are many sizes and shapes of foam disks available. Look for a disk that is sturdy and doesn't bend easily, otherwise the braider will experience uneven tension.

Related terms[edit]

  • Kagami – the top braiding surface on a marudai; Japanese for "mirror."
  • Kongō Gumi – a class of patterns for round cord all involving eight threads folded in half for a total of sixteen strands. In clockwise order, each bobbin is moved to the opposite side. When different combinations of thread color are used, many interesting patterns emerge, including diagonal stripes, diamonds on a background, triangles resembling hearts, and tiny six-petalled flowers.
  • Marudai or maru dai – the frame for the braiding; "maru dai" Japanese for "round stand."
  • Obi – the broad cloth sash used in traditional dress; a kumihimo belt, called the obijime, is tied around the obi.
  • Obijime – the cord used to bind the obi securely.
  • Takadai – a rectangular or square frame for creating flat kumihimo, as opposed to the round kumihimo made by the marudai.
  • Tama – bobbins. The thread is kept from unwinding by passing the thread under itself, forming a loop around the tama. True silk is a hollow fiber with a rough surface that resists slipping past the loop unless gently pulled. For synthetic fibers, a flexible plastic "clamshell" bobbin may be preferable.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumihimo — Please support Wikipedia.
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692 news items

Smile Politely - Champaign-Urbana's Online Magazine

Smile Politely - Champaign-Urbana's Online Magazine
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:07:30 -0800

Some people simply radiate artistic ability. Susan Harum is undoubtedly one of those people. Known in Champaign for her unique handmade leather bracelets, Harum's take on a Japanese braiding method called Kumihimo makes her craft one of a kind.
Farmers Advance
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 07:11:15 -0800

Early in April guests can learn more about knitting, penny rugs and Kumihimo braiding. A complete schedule of programs is posted online at www.saudervillage.org. In addition to the free Craft Saturday Demonstrations, Sauder Village also offers many ...
Chicago Tribune
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 11:07:30 -0800

The Fused Glass Nightlights workshop will be 9 to 11 a.m. March 22 in Yorkville, and the Glass Kumihimo Bracelet workshop will be 9 to 11 a.m. March 23 in Yorkville. The Art Basics with Rubber Stamps class will be from 1 to 2 p.m. March 24 in Morris.
Huffington Post
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:18:45 -0800

My goal was to achieve this through another approach by showing poor women how to weave kumihimo braids using plarn (plastic bag yarn) into purses and hammocks and how to make jewelry and sequins out of aluminum cans. Indigenous crafters have to ...


Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:18:45 -0800

Davis had been a regional expert and teacher of Kumihimo - a Japanese weaving technique - with a flair for putting a modern spin on an ancient art. Since publication, she has developed an active Kumihimo Facebook community of more than 1,000 members ...
Delphos Herald
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:07:30 -0800

Later in the month, guests can watch Kumihimo braiding on Feb. 20 and finger weaving on Feb.d 27. March craft demonstrations include quilling, rug hooking, bobbin lace making and spinning. Early in April guests can learn more about knitting, penny rugs ...


Wed, 13 Jan 2016 05:07:30 -0800

Kumihimo beads, ring settings with semi-precious stones, gold- and silver-plated bracelets and custom necklaces are available for sale as affordable gifts for any pocketbook, with prices ranging from $9.99 to $99.99. None of the creations are sold for ...
The Dallas Post
Wed, 20 Jan 2016 12:57:52 -0800

In memory of Jane L. Torr, “Styled: secrets for arranging rooms, from tabletops to bookshelves”” by Emily Henderson, presented by Elaine and Ron Moran. In memory of Jane L. Torr, “Twist, Turn, & Tie: 50 Japanese kumihimo braids” by Beth Kemp, presented ...

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