Taking Time To
Enjoy The Making


A Glossary of Terms

Last Updated: 2014-02-28 Started: 2012-12-28 Our Glossary is under permanent development and by no means complete, in fact I add to it almost weekly if not daily. Included are terms unique to techniques, words wheat writes in her blog, in the catalog,and elsewhere. There are even words, she not yet decided on a definition that works in our context.
It may be helpful to have a sense of humor when reading personal opinions.
Every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of the information shared below and it comes from any sources and knowledgeable contributors however, life comes with no guarantees and circumstances can vary results. Consider these guidelines and use at your own discretion without liability to its contributors and preparers

Remember, when the human hand is involved, YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary and so some information is a range, or ROT - Rule of Thumb - a starting point for you experience.



Links to other pages for additional information will often open in a new window so that you can more easily return to this page.
If you have any questions, suggestions or need more clarification, or think I am missing something that should be here, please email: through our contact form
- A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M -
- N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z -


Please print a copy of this information for your personal use and to share the link so that other can visit this site and obtain the most recent update for their personal use as well.
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© 2000-2014 Wheat Carr - all right reserved. Please do not copy and republish in any form, written, electronic, cyber, via the NSA data banks, or other yet to be discovered methods in the known and unknown universe without specific written permission.

  • A:

  • Amu Japanese term for Knit


  • B:

  • bi-zu Japanese Term: bead(s)

  • bi-zu no fusa Japanese Term: usually translated “tassel”

  • bi-zu tsuki no kongo gumi Japanese Term: Kongo Gumi – Round Spiral Braid made with braided threads - This form would be most likely used in “Spoken/Conversation

  • bi-zu-ito Japanese Term: threads of beads

  • Biron Biron is a brand of Rayon used to create "ropes" for use in Japanese Braiding. 100% Rayon (Synethetic silk) – 9ft/2.7m – 39 strands bundle and there are 4 bundles within a rope.

  • bizu-no-suji Japanese Term: string of beads or gems, or spheres

  • . .

  • Bobbin a bobbin is a round, spool like shape onto which the thread is wound. In Braiding, the term bobbin is often used interchangeably with "tama" or "element". In BRAIDING - Bobbins. wrapped with thread, cords or other materials are a single element in braiding or when placed in a shuttle as weft in a weaving or as the means to provide thread to one side of stitches formed on a sewing machine. Bobbins are also used to store thread, wire, and other materials and to "weight" warp threads on a loom for many reasons. Bobbins usually have some sort of core or in the case of Floss bobbins an indented area, which may or may not be weighted. Click To see examples of Spools and Bobbins, including those sold by ItsAllJustString

  • Braid To intertwine 3 or more strands, forming diangonal patterns, where each strand/element acts as both warp and weft throughout the process to form a "plait". Victorian Hair Braiding and Kumihimo Braiding are two examples of braiding styles used by fiber artisans.


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  • C:

  • CAVEAT EXERCENS: User Beware These instructions may not be suitable for use by children of any age. Parental supervision and judgement should be exercised. My results are not a guarantee of future performance or your results especially when gauge is involved.
    (Thank you to my favorite Latin Scholar and top rated Trivia Host when I asked for a proper latin translation of "User Beware": User would not have been a familiar concept to the ancient Roman - at least no unless it was clear what was being used - i,e, the type of machine would define his name, I guess we can use the work "exercens" which I see defined as doer, performer, operator, worker. Certainly not a common word.... the expression Caveat Exercens" unfortunately does not have the same "ring" as Caveat Emptor.

  • CLon Cord and ThreadsSEE SuperLon by BeadSmith an identical thread.

  • C-HK: Crochet HOOK usually followed by the suggested size to achieve the label or pattern gauge You may need to go up (fewer STI) or down (more STI) to produce the specified gauge. Because Letter and other designation (i.e., 1/0, No 14, etc) can vary between makers, we give Hook & Needle Size in MM (millemeters). Because Letter and other designation (i.e., 1/0, No 14, etc) can vary between makers, we give Hook & Needle Size in MM (millemeters).

  • C-STI: Crochet Stitches To The Inch Gauge Suggestion - usually based on SINGLE Crochet -
              PATTERN Author may specify a different STI or and STI "In Pattern"


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  • D:
  • dai Japanese Term: stand, platform, stool. Different types of Dai are used for different braid structures. Typical equipment names are: Marudai, Kakudai, Takadai, and more

  • Denier:
  • used in the textile industry as a unit of measurement for the weight per unit of length (linear density) of a continuous filament or yarn. Denier expresses the weight in grams per NINE kilometer (9000 meters) length of fabric. The lower the number, the finer/thinner the fabric. Although still used in the USA, most countries use the TEX System for the purpose of defining the finenss of the fabric or thread.
  • DISCONTINUED: this is an item that may be manufacturer, supplier or ItsAllJustString discontinued and there fore all sales are limited to inventory on hand


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  • E:

  • edo Japanese Term which refers to tThe Edo Period in Japanese history spans 1616-4867. Edo is an earlier name for Tokyo. There are also a series of braid structures which include "Edo" in their name.

  • element is generally defined as a fundamental, essential, or irreducible constituent of a composite entity - it is easy to see why Noemi Speiser in her Manual of Braiding used this term when referring to each unique set of thread(s) within a braided structure. In Braiding, an element is the individual cord or set of cords that is contained on a Tama/Bobbin on the MaruDai (braiding stand) or within a slot on the MobiDai (hand held disc) or other braiding equipment.

  • ends when used in the context of braiding - "Ends" refers to the number of strands of thread used per tama. Each "thread", (be it a single end such as rattail, or multiple ends, such as rayon, silk, floss, etc..) that is part of the braiding process can be called an element. So, a 48-tama braid will have 48 elements. - Hattori 2014-Mar-03)

  • EuroYarn - Euro - EY Euro Yarns - Amityville NY - a division of Knitting Fever Inc - Wholesale To The Trade Yarn and Pattern Publication distributor.

  • EPI: Ends Per Inch, used in weaving as a suggested SETT for the warp. We only include information when we have sampled the yarn for plain weave. Sometimes because Wheat likes weaving twills, she may add that information as well.


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  • F:

  • FIBER: When used in yarn description, it is followed by the type and percentage of each fibers used in the production of the yarn. Think of it as bits of fluff twisted together so it does not disintegrate into a pile of dryer lint. Among the things that may my teeth hurt is the current marketing ploy of referring to YARNandTHREAD as "Fibers".

  • FINAL SALE: used when the item is being phased out from our stock and may not be returned - Except to replace damaged in transit merchandise, Instructional Publications are not returnable.

  • FREEMIUM: a Complimentary item, usually a pattern or project instructions. These are a form of marketing. Freemiums are intended for YOUR Personal Use Only - please do not distribute, but feel free to provide the link so the the provider of the Freeimum recieves the small benefit.

  • fukoro Japanese Term for the small bag used to hold the (counter) weights which counter balance the weight of the tama/elements of the braid in progress.


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  • G:

  • GAUGE - Matters: This is a link to an ongoing project in my personal blog about why Gauge Matters: why Gauge Matters

  • GAUGE - LABEL: Based on the information provided on the yarn label. Wheat has a chart that you may find useful, NOTE it is based on her experience, not necessarily as recommended by the manufacturer Click here to seeWheat's Yarn Label X-Ref in a new window.

  • GAUGE - PATTERN: Based on the information provided IN THE PATTERN as what is needed to produce, as nearly as possible the look and hand shown in the pattern photo.

  • GAUGE - YOUR: Your gauge is the STI when YOU Crochet, knit, etc using a particular yarn, size of tool, and of course the stitch being used. Your Gauge effects everything from the amount of yarn needed to the final hand of the fabric and most importantly your satisfaction with your project For more information, you may want to take a look at our: Yarn Label Xref

  • genji Japanese Term Genji braids are “strong” braids. I.e., Edo-Genji, Hira-Genji, Yamato-Genji and many others

  • grid A grid is the word used by Carey in her books – Creative Kumihimo, Deisgn Booklets, etc to describe the graphic she has created that allows the braider to plan color placement within the braid structure being illustrated. These graphics are intended for the personal use of those who purchase her books and are not intended to be shared by any means without specific permission as was granted to Wheat Carr for the Kongo Gumi worksheets.

  • grist when used in relation to yarn, refers to the diameter/weight of the yarn. For more information, you may want to take a look at our: Yarn Label Xref

  • gumi


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  • H:

  • HAND the feel of the fabric - Hand is very very much effected by your gauge, sett, and counter weight (dependinit means your fabric might be too floppy/open to be useful for the project OR conversely, too tight and it is more like armour than a fabric you want to wrap your self in.

  • himo Japanese Term for cord, braid, strap, etc.

  • hira Japanese Term flat

  • Japanese Term


  • I:

  • IMNHO said with a smile and a grin, In My Never Humble Opinion. It is not that I am always right, just that I really believe I am "this time" YMMV

  • Imposter is a brand of Rayon used to create "ropes" for use in Japanese Braiding. 100% Rayon (Synethetic silk) – 9ft/2.7m – 39 strands bundle and there are 4 bundles within a rope. (yes, similar to Biron and

  • ito Japanese Term string or yarn or thread


  • J:


  • ju-zu Japanese Term for a string of beads - often refers to prayer beads


  • K:

  • K F I - Knitting Fever Inc - KFI Knitting Fever - Amityville NY - a division of Knitting Fever Inc - Wholesale To The Trade Yarn and Pattern Publication distributor.

  • kagami Japanese Term mirror, the top piece of a marudai or kakadai

  • kaku Japanese Term flat

  • kakudai Japanese Term square stand for upward braiding

  • kara Japanese Term for Chinese or foreign

  • kawari Japanese Term change or variation or modified

  • kensaki Japanese Term point of braiding

  • kinu Japanese Term silk

  • "Knitting with a Crochet Hook" Recently dubbed with the marketing name Knook Whether you call it Knook(ing) - The technique term recently been added to the fiber world's lexicon or Knitting with a Crochet Hook or by the Japanese technique/term (roughly) translated as "Magic" Needle, or the US technique/term for more than a decade, "Amazing Needle" it is KNITTING using some form of "flexible" crochet hook.

  • K-NDL: Knit Needle Size suggested as a starting place to achieve Label or Pattern Gauge. You may need to go up (fewer STI) or down (more STI) to produce the specified gauge. Because Letter and other designation (i.e., 1/0, No 14, etc) can vary between makers, we give Hook & Needle Size in MM (millimeters).

  • K-STI: Knit Stitches To The Inch Gauge Suggestion - usually based on Knit
              PATTERN Author may specify a different STI or and STI "In Pattern"

  • KNOOK(ing): A much catchier name for "Knitting with a Crochet Hook" - The name Knook and/or technique term: Knooking have recently been added to the fiber world's lexicon. Prior to that, in Japan this technique's name roughly translated into "Magic" Needle, and more than a decade ago, dubbed "Amazing Needle". Whatever you call it, this is a KNIT technique that uses a needle with a hook at the one end instead of a point.

  • Knot Knotting is the interlacement/joining of a flexible cord/rope/thread, drawn tight, to form a reasonably permanent join/connection for decorative or functional purposes. Japanese Term: musubi

  • Kongo - Kongoh Japanese Term strong - usually followed by a further descriptive term such as gumi - braid or seki-diamond and more.

  • Kongo gumi bizu tksuki Japanese Term Kongo Gumi – Round Spiral Braid made with beaded threads - This form would be most likely used in written form such as a label on an item for sale

  • Kongo Gumi Japanese Term for the simple Japanese Braiding spiral pattern currently used extensively by jewelry makers (Kongo gumi bizu tksuki), Kongo Gumi is worked in multiples of 8 elements to create a spiral braid. There are seemingly endless variations on the appearance of the finished braid dictated on the color placement on each element. It is often the first braid taught or learned by braiders, although most beaders seem to limit themselves to the 8 element version - braiders usually prefer to work with 16 to allow for more design options. The extent of the design options is certainly evidenced with the recent (summer 2013) release of Rosalie Neilson's Kongo Gumi A Cacophony of Spots-Coils-Zags-Lines which documents 1,157 two-color designs for 16-element Kongo Gumi

  • koushi Japanese Term grid

  • Kongo - Kongoh Japanese Term strong

  • kumi Japanese Term to plait or to braid (same as gumi)

  • kumi-ito Japanese Term any thread used in the braiding process.

  • Kumihimo Japanese Braiding. Kumihimo may done on a braiding stand such as a MaruDai, or on a hand held disc referred to by Makiko Tada as a MobiDai or other braiding equipment. As with all braiding, each element/strand/tama acts as both warp and weft, worked diagonally to create decorative and functional cords

  • kumikata Japanese Term describing a method of braiding

  • kumite Japanese Term with two meanings, one is Tedori the braiding movements to create a particular structure, and the other is a braider.


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  • L:
  • LIMITED AVAILABILITY: Supply limited to what is "in stock" - an item we either will not or cannot reorder in the foreseeable future.

  • M:

  • Machine Embroidery Rayon 100% Rayon - offered in single strand cones – 40 strands approximates Silk Rope diameter (and makes your math easier too) - for braiding, that the colors are color fast is more important. the most commmonly used is 40wt and most brands will work just fine. There are other characteristics that matter when it is used for machine embroidery. There are many brands for all budgets. My personal choices are Robison Anton, ScanSilk, Maderia among others. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability to obtain 1000m and 5000m cones are very reasonable prices. by preparing your own ropes, you can also have longer or shorter lengths as may be suitable to your project.

  • maru Japanese Term round

  • marudai Japanese Term round braiding stand

  • musubi Japanese Term knot


  • N:
  • naname-ito Japanese Term diagonal threads


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  • O:

  • obi Japanese Term belt or sash worn with kimono

  • obi-jime Japanese Term cord which secures the fabric sash of kimono

  • oimatso Japanese Term old pine tree


  • P:

  • point of braiding Japanese Term = Kensaki


  • Pre-Order Items on "pre order" are not yet in stock but are either expected or re part of a planned special purchase as noted in the product description. Generally these items should be placed in a separate order,using the "Telephone Credit Card" payment option.


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  • Q:



  • R:

  • rope is a strong string that is made by twisting many thin strings or fibers together. It may also be a string on which many similar items are held together - like a rope of pearls.    
    In Japanese Braiding Ropesusually refers to the bundles of silk, rayon and other threads that are loaded onto tama or elements. Traditionally, these bundles are cut into lengths suitable for the making of obijime, the cords used to secure the kimono sash. The most common length is 9ft/2.7m. The number of threads per bundle will vary according to the fiber content of the thread.


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  • S:

  • Set Up When used in braiding information, it is a graphic to illustrate the initial placement of tama for a particular structure. Often also shown with each tama/element the color of the threads needed to produce the pattern images created by color placement within the braid structure -

  • silk rope Japanese braiding silk ropes are 100% Silk - L= 9ft/2.7m – 42 strands per rope/bundle

  • Splice To join, by various techniques (weave, knot, etc) linear material(s) such as rope or cords for decorative and functional purposes

  • SLON - SuperLon The BeadSmith Brand of Nylon Cord and Threads originally developed for industrial and home sewing machine use - currently identical in structure to CLon. page for more information

  • smorgasbord - smor·gas·bord (smĂ´rgs-bĂ´rd, -brd) according to TheFreeDictionary.com, smorgasbord is a noun that describes A buffet meal featuring a varied number of dishes. Wheat likes this name so much more than Stash Buster because far too often these projects demand to be treated as a Stash Builder.

  • suji Japanese Term

  • sutoringo Japanese Term string


  • T:

  • TamaJapanese Term, Tama are the (usually) weighted objects used to hold the threads etc assigned to each element of the braid. The term Tama, for purposes of descripbing the initial set up for a braid may be used onterchangeably with "bobbin" or "element". Although very much a term from Japanese braiding, there are other Japanese terms used within the Japanese Schools.

  • tate-ito Japanese Term vertical threads - as in a weaving warp. This word would not be used by Japanese "speakers" in conjunction with Kumihimo or other forms of braiding.

  • te Japanese Term hand

  • TEX: Tex Size A thread numbering system, using grams per 1,000 meters of thread. The higher the number, the thicker the thread. Outside the USA, most thread producing countries have replaced their use of Denier with Tex. In the USA, both terms are used about equall today.

  • Thread(s) Japanese Term " ito "


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  • U:


  • V:


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  • W:

  • WARP
    • A "collection" of threads mounted on a loom.
    • Kumihimo Warp Commentary: Kumhinmo WARP: Although Braiding is not weaving, is not done a loom, and each element is both warp and weft, and braiding is interlaced on the diagonal (not at 90 degrees as is done in weaving - To "ease" the English speaking into this Japanese craft, several authors and editors, extensively trained in Japan at various schools choose to use term warp, because it "fit" and was something that weavers and other fiber enthusiast could "See" a relationship. This was probably a good thing when Rodrick and others first used it, but now causes all sorts of confusion when those without a "fiber" background. For those who want to expand their braiding, the term element would probably help them to communicate with more advanced braiders and the use of "warp" as a collection of threads, that includes all the "elements" to be used in the braid might be more helpful.

    • Weaving Warp noun: vertically aligned threads that attach to the front and back of the loom. A single warp thread is a warp end.
      verb: to prepare and place a predetermined set of threads onto a loom -

    • Weft In weaving, Weft is the "working" thread(s). Weft threads are usually supported on a shuttle to carry the thread from selvedge to sevedge,horizonatally and perpendicular to the weft threads.

    • Weave The perpendicular interlacement of two independent sets of threads - over and under - to form a fabric. There are many variations to the pattern of interlacement, each creating what is often called a "struture".

    • wheat Japanese komugi

    • WIP: Work In Progress sometimes know as a PIGS (Project in Grocery Sack)

    • WPI: Wraps Per Inch The number of wraps needed to create a width of one inch with this yarn. For more information, you may want to take a look at our: Yarn Label Xref


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    • X:


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    • Y:

    • yarn YARN "consists" of fibers (content) that have been processed (usually "spun" - "twisted" ) For the hand crafting community - there are other words that are more marketing that may or may not have any real meaning.

    • yarn weight Label: Based on the information provided on the label, indicates the "yarn weight" - we try to provide the CYC No (Craft Yarn Council), Common Yarn Weight name, and Manufacturer designations. For more information, you may want to take a look at our: Yarn Label Xref There are also extensive technical details for each type of yarn, keyed on fiber content, in the ASTM Standards Section 7 - Textile.

    • yatsu Japanese Term eight (9=8)

    • yolo-ito Japanese Term Weft - Horizontal threads.

    • yotsu Japanese Term four (4)

    • YPP Yards Per Pound is a textile term For more information, you may want to take a look at our: Yarn Label Xref
    • YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary because humans do not usually produce exact duplicates of anything


    • Z:


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    • Contributors
      While any mis-information is likely my error, not theirs, and if there are more words we need to consider, please do let me know. Every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of the information and opinion shared below - however, life comes with no guarantees and circumstances can vary results. Consider these guidelines and use at your own discretion without liability to its contributors and preparers

      It may take me years to get this list complete, but here is a start of those who deserve our thanks for having taken the time to answer my questions and expand my knowledge and given their permission, over these past decades, to include their contribution(s) to my knowledge and understanding of craft terminology and technique. Alphabetically: Kim Barnett, Shirley Berlin, Tink Bord-Dill, Jacqui Carey, Paul Carey, Deborah Chandler, Anita Clark, Peter Collingwood, Henry Edwards III, Peg Edwards, Sion Elalouf, Charles and Shirley Eustis, Diane Fitzgerald, Jonnelle Kelly, Carol Miller Franklin, Abby Franquemont, Ed Franquemont, Terry Newhouse Flynn, Helen Halla Fleisher, Phyllis and Allan Goldman, Kim Guzman, Michael Hattori, Jean Leinhauser, Kirsten Muench, Rosalie Neilson, Randi Nelson, Jay Opperman, Fran Otermyer, Rodrick Owen, Deb Reindfleisch, Deb Robson, Yvette Standon, Makiko Tada, Susan Vazques, Diane Watanabe, Larry Weiss, Mark Zaramski, Members of the Quilt Art List, 1980's 90's Members of the Compuserve Crafts Forum and the many independent designers and craft authors who have helped me to understand their concenpts. This list is painfully incomplete by itself, an ongoing project. Note to whomever I may have missed - let me know so you can be included too.



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