Kumihimo - the Japanese Art of Braiding
Kumihimo is the ancient Japanese art of braiding. Traditionally, Kumihimo braids were created on a wooden device called the Marudai. While the Marudai is a more flexible tool, it is also a more complicated one. Fortunately for modern braiders, foam kumihimo looms are portable, versatile, and easy to use.
Kumihimo braids can be created with many different yarns and ribbons. All of my example braids pictured right are made using our 1mm Satin Rattail Cord. You can add silk ribbon, eyelash yarn, hemp cord, and other stringing material as suits. The rattail cord is a nice place to start as it doesn't tangle easily, and is inexpensive and available in a host of colors.
In addition to the supplies listed here, see also:
Cord Ends & Adhesives
We carry a nice selection of findings for finishing your cords and braids, and a few useful tutorials. If you prefer glue ready caps - we suggest E6000 or the GS Fabric Cement to secure your braids.
TierraCast® Large Hole Bails
These lovely pewter bails by TierraCast are designed to accommodate larger projects like kumihimo braids, tubular seed bead crochet, and large diameter designs. Our beautifully made bails have a .25" (6mm) internal diameter.
American made by TierraCast® with culinary grade lead-free pewter.
KumiLoom™ Octagonal Kumihimo Disk
This sturdy Kumihimo loom measures 6" in diameter, and is made of 12mm thick EVA foam. The disk is notched to hold and provide tension on your ribbon and yarn. (English) instructions for the fun and easy basic 8 cord round kumihimo braid are printed on the back of the loom.
Of the three disks I carry - this is my personal favorite. It is thicker (sturdier) than the other two, and the octagonal design allows you to create both round and flat braids on the same loom. This loom does NOT include a printed project brochure.
Round Kumihimo Disk
This sturdy Kumihimo loom measures 6" in diameter, and is made of 10mm thick EVA foam. The disk is notched to hold and provide tension on your ribbon and yarn. This disk includes a brochure with (English) instructions for the basic 8 cord round kumihimo braid, which is an easy and delightful design to learn. This disk also includes instructions for the 16 cord round braid, as well as tips on how to finish your braid, and several project ideas.
Mini Round Kumihimo Disk
This sturdy Kumihimo loom measures 4.25" in diameter, and is made of 10mm thick EVA foam. The disk is notched to hold and provide tension on your ribbon and yarn. It is a nice size for kids or classes (or classes for kids!). This disk doesn't not include any brochures or instructions.
8-Cord Round Kumihimo Braid Pre-Cut Mixes
Square Kumihimo Disk
Ideal for creating flat braids, this sturdy Kumihimo loom measures 5.5" x 5.5", and is made of 10mm thick EVA foam. The disk is notched to hold and provide tension on your ribbon and yarn. This disk includes a brochure with (English) instructions for the basic 10 cord flat kumihimo braid, and plus two other patterns and several project ideas.
These ingenious little bobbins pop open for easy "loading" of your cord or thread and will help keep your longer projects from getting tangled. If you're going to make choker length projects with rattail, you don't need these bobbins. But if you're working with easier to tangle fibers like embroidery floss or eyelash yarn, or if you're using longer length strands, these bobbins are a must!
For most projects, the smaller, 1 7/8" bobbins will be just right. You probably won't need the bigger ones, but just in case you want to make a ginormously long braid, I have bigger ones, too.