Kumihimo Links

Please Note: MOST of these links will open in new window or download a PDF (you will need Adobe Reader)
Non-Standard Disclaimer: Yes, we sell things related to Braiding. And yes some of the links below go to web sites that sell products we think could be of value to you. But NOPE, no one is compensating me to recommend their products. So, as with all purchase suggestions, Caveat Emptor - we can only report our experiences and those of others, the final decision/risk is yours.

caveat aggravat animam - all of the works are shared with specific permission and may be downloaded for your personal, individual use. Please do not share or otherwise publish without first contacting and receiving permission from the author and copyrights holders. Violating their trust would be a poor way to thank them for what they share.

Legal Share: cut and paste this link so your friends can stop by and get their own copy.

Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More is our Facebook group - opens in a new page - this group is suitable for all and with many wonderful members willing to share their knowledge and expertise - a great place to ask questions or offer your tips and ideas. Wheat often posts information about new products and products reviews.

Michael Hattori demonstrates correct tama handling on the marudai or other braiding stand.
Michael Hattori's Marudai Measured Drawing

Kumihimo Companion is an ongoing project from braider extrodinaire Anita Clark has created a fabulous resource for Braiders by categorizing and cross references many of the best braiding books. NOTE: Visit the HELP page for information about the cross-reference contents. for example, If you move your mouse pointer over the name of a braid, a picture of the book it came from will appear. Click the name to go to that book's page. Use the sort options to change the order of the list. Use the filter options to list various sets of braids. (WARNING: If you choose ALL braids, the list will be VERY LONG.) Click the APPLY button to update the list.

Marudai - DIY or BUY ? Whether you choose to make your own, are lucky enough to have a woodworker who will, or decide that purchasing a Marudai is a long term investment your braiding history - there are some basics to consider and even a measured drawing generously shared by Michael Hattori.
caveat aggravat animam - this work is shared with specific permission and may be downloaded for your personal, individual use. Please do not share or otherwise publish without first contacting and receiving permission from the author and copyrights holders

Rosalie Neilson
of Orion's Plumage is a treasure trove of factual well researched information for Japanese Braiding (among other fiber work). Of particular interest to me is her article the Silk Standard - it describes not only traditional materials, but how to plan and prepare samples with ALL braiding materials. - You might find it "most friendly" to your lap top or desk top but it is "worth the effort" for all interested in braiding

Like many long time braiders, there are places where it is "assumed" you will understand common terms used for Interlacements. If you see one you are not sure about, Join us on FaceBook Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More to talk about it. (link opens in a new window)

Rodrick Owen's books along with those of Jacquie Carey are invaluable reference for the beginner braider. But sometimes you just gotta see what they mean. With this in mind Rod, with Victorian Video, published a wonderful then video and now DVD. I am so glad that Yarn Barn of Kansas choose to keep Kumihimo: Japanese Braiding with Instructor Rodrick Owen" alive when they took over Victorian Video. If you cannot take a class with an experienced and well trained braider - this video will show you many of the nuances. I wish the realities of boutique publishing made it possible to offer this DVD to you when you purchase the book from us - but the folks at Yarn Barn of Kansas are wonderful people and deserve every penny and you will not regret adding this to your library - 25 years after that first class with Rod I still go back and watch it to refresh my memory on the fine points.

Braid Design Worksheets are complimentary PDFs may be useful in planning your 8 or 16 element Kongo Gumi (Round Spiral), one of the most basic Kumihimo Braids as well as its intended use, to record "what was done" and sometimes "what you want to do" With Thanks To Jacqui Carey for Permission to use her Designer Booklets as inspiration.
Both are intended for your personal use in planning the Japanese Braid correctly known as Kongo Gumi or Kongoh Gumi and sometimes Hard-Round-Spiral.
8 Element Kongo Gumi and 16 Element Kongo Gumi
Note: Kongo Gumi can be expanded in groups of 4 elements. Wheat does not recommend trying more than 16 on the 32 slot disc but has done up to 64 on a marudai with 12 inch mirror.

CraftDesignOnline.com We decided to start Craft Design Online when one of our children was given a "friendship wheel" kit for a Christmas present. We wanted to be able to make more designs than the ones printed on the wheels with the kit. We experimented and discovered you could make patterns with more threads using the same wheels, and eventually discovered that it was a form of Japanese braiding called Kumihimo.

BeadSmith Disc Instruction: complimentary PDF of the instructions and project information enclosed with non-bulk priced Foam Disc for 8 and 16 element Kongo Gumi (Round Spiral Braid) - sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "standard" braid.
BeadSmith Plate Instruction: complimentary PDF of the instructions and project information enclosed with non-bulk priced Square Plate for an 8 and 10 element Flat braid.

Kumihimo Rope Build by Russ Oliver Russ Oliver read an article in Crossfit Journal showing how to braid your own climbing rope and thought it was a great idea. Then he thought about what it would be like trying to manage 8 thirty foot lengths of rope. Russ made a few string bracelets back it the day and keeping the strings straight was a pain. That got Russ searching the Internet trying to find out more about braiding techniques. click to connect to full article

Makiko Tada's Informal Kumihimo Glossary shared by Janis Saunders of BraidersHand. This braid names, their meaning, here are some as well as other helpful words. My personal favorite is yatsu se gumi - Se is means a stream with small pebbles by the water. which I think should be "adopted" for "Beaded Braids" - (but I don't rule the Braid-iverse)

Tama Handling 101 On July 15 Michael Hattori wrote: It is entitled "Basic Marudai Technique 1: Tama Handling. Many people do not have the opportunity to learn kumihimo first-hand from a teacher and do not learn the most fundamental and most important technique to marudai: handling the tama correctly.

The Japanese have honed this technique over many centuries and put plainly, if you are not practicing it, you are not braiding correctly.

The purpose of the video is to clearly explain and demonstrate this technique, which is difficult at best to learn from a book. You really have to see it to get it.

So, take a look and let me know what you think. It is clearly an amateur effort; however, I believe it is clear and gets the point across, which is that is most important. Enjoy! Click to Watch The Video on YouTube

Happy Endings: Turning Kumi Braids Into Necklaces and Bracelets by A G Lindsay is a great resource for those who want to turn their braids into jewelry. Although written before many of the new "Kumihimo" findings such as those now offered by BeadSmith - This tutorial is well worth having and studying for use with any fiber jewelry. click to download PDF

Grog's Animated Knots - Decorative Inspired by the illustrations in several of Makiko Tada's publications, my mother "had to have" braids to wear on her hat, coat, sweaters and of course as a necklace or bracelet. Grog's make is so much simpler - Don't over look the possibilities for some of the other categories - Some will look super in the smaller width or diameter of your braids made on marudai or disc.

What Wheat Wrote: About Threads I braid with As most know, I can be a real PIA about technique and proper respect for traditions, but when it comes to materials, seem willing to try pretty much anything Never forget my motto: If It Bends, It Braids = but always remember just because you can, does not automatically mean you should. click to read What Wheat Wrote about Braiding Threads

YLI Corp has two really nice documents available for download - written primarily for Sewists, still very helpful for those whose braiding pursuits may lead to a need to know more about thread. - Links open in new window.

A Thread of Truth is the one most useful to the adventurous braider - still probably more than you want to know about thread construction, but has a wealth of useful information about things like what Tex number means and overall well worth the having.
YLI Corp makes excellent threads useful for braiding effects. so it might be fun to browse their products - if you have questions about those for braiding, join us in Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More - or email for "my opinion"

SuperLON (aka/SLON from the BeadSmith is one of two brand names for the popular line of Cords and Threads for beadworkers and beaded braiders. We hope our Q & A will help you make the right choice for your projects. We know it will likely make you a SLon trivia champ.
Ready to Shop
CORD: Macrame Tex 400   -   Bead Tex 210 - Fine Tex 135 - Micro Tex 70
THREAD: D Tex 45 - AA Tex 33

has written a series of blog articles for Beaded Breaiders with Practical facts and ideas for creating kumihimo on a disk or plate, served with a side dish of opinion.

Jacqui Carey
shares several articles helpful to braider of all skill levels. These are PDF Downloads. Take a moment while your there to read a bit about this Artisan and Educator.
  • href="http://info.careycompany.com/col.by.numbs.pdf"> Colour by Numbers: an article explaining the grid system used in all her Kumihimo books. This is an aid for designing Kumihimo Braids.
  • href="http://info.careycompany.com/braidcomparisons.pdf" > Braid comparisons: the same structured braid is often called several names (some names are attributed to several structures). This table gives comparisons to show which 8-bobbin Kumihimo braids have the same structure.
  • href="http://info.careycompany.com/bridges.pdf" > Bridging the Gap: a paper presented at the Bridges (Maths/Art) conference in 2006. It details a method of recording ALL 3-D braid structures in a simple 2-D format.

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    last updated 2016-10
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