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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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Sat, 23 May 2015 15:18:45 -0700

海外でも手作りアクセサリーとして人気があり、そのまま「KUMIHIMO」と呼ばれている。その組紐を、現代風にアレンジし、ポップなカラーリングのビニール製の紐『カラーコード』を使って、収縮性に優れたカラフルで鮮やかなアクセサリーを作れるのが『KUMIHIMO LOOMY』である ...

Rio Rancho Observer

Rio Rancho Observer
Sat, 16 May 2015 23:13:56 -0700

This year's class schedule includes courses on scarf-weaving, utilizing mixed media, making buttons with polymer clay, silk painting, Bavarian crochet, yarn basket making, beginning Kumihimo, a Japanese braiding technique and more. “I love the fiesta ...
The Daily Courier
Sun, 03 May 2015 19:47:49 -0700

Project introduction: Kumihimo, a traditional Japanese technique of braiding strands of silk to create intricately colored cords. 928-282-1584. Pinochle 12:30 p.m. Thursday at CASA Senior Center, 9360 E. Manzanita Circle, Prescott Valley. 928-772-3337.
Milton Daily Standard
Mon, 04 May 2015 10:15:00 -0700

The Gutelius House Museum examines the old-time hobby of button collecting at a workshop on May 16 where you will be able to make a bracelet using traditional kumihimo braiding with buttons. Then visit the museum on May 17 for a formal tea and lecture ...
The Times (subscription)
Fri, 01 May 2015 18:02:36 -0700

The presentation will be the "Art of Japanese Braiding, Kumihimo" by Betty Burian Kirk, of Lemont. Kirk holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiber art from Northern Illinois University. She has been giving lectures and workshops in weaving and fiber arts ...

Deccan Herald

Deccan Herald
Mon, 11 May 2015 12:18:45 -0700

“My favourite technique is wiring, although I do whatever a customer likes. I also use a Japanese form of braid-making called 'Kumihimo', macrame and knotting. I like cutting and knotting.” She once made a bracelet in silver with Swarovski crystals for ...
Asahi Shimbun
Fri, 22 Nov 2013 21:27:50 -0800

KYOTO--Quite when the traditional "kumihimo" braid shop Ito Kumihimo-ten (Ito Braid Works Co.) came into existence is not known, but it was apparently an already going concern in or around 1826. Kumihimo braids are flexible braids of silk that are used ...

Het Belang van Limburg

Het Belang van Limburg
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 01:48:45 -0700

Alken - Kumihimo is een Japanse vlechtkunst van meer dan 1.000 jaar oud en bijzonder mooi om naar te kijken. Daarom organiseerde KVLV Alken centrum op donderdag 12 maart een crea-les juwelen maken in Kumihimo die plaatsvond in het ...

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