Kumihimo Part 1

Round and Square Kumihimo discs

I've been getting several questions about Kumihimo when customers come into my store and see the
Kumihimo discs hanging on the wall. They want to know what is their purpose and after I tell them they are used for Kumihimo, I have a good chuckle as they try to repeat the word. (I'm not laughing at you... honest!) lol

Kumihimo braids

What is Kumihimo? 
Kumihimo (Coo-me-he-moe) is an ancient Japanese braiding technique using multiple strands of cord. The braids are very popular for use as necklaces and bracelets. Varying the colours of the strands, the thickess of the cord and using a circular or square disc are all ways
to change the design and pattern of your braid. You can also add beads to your Kumihimo braid to achieve a completely different look.  It is better to start with plain Kumihimo (no beads), just so you can get a better understanding of the technique, then move onto beads. (We will discuss beaded Kumihimo in Part 2).

Though Kumihimo may sound like some complicated technique, it really is quite simple. Modern day Kumihimo makes use of lightweight foam discs which have numbers around the outer edge to help you to keep track of your strands. The general rule is: You cut a length of cord that is three times the length of your bracelet or necklace. This should accommodate both non-beaded and beaded types of Kumihimo.

You can follow the link below to watch a video called "Kumihimo Introduction by Beadsmith" on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I_uAC_Mxfw. It is a great video that gently opens your eyes to this technique that is still new to a lot of people and shows exactly how you can create your own Kumihimo braids.

Kumihimo Part 2 will be posted next week and we will discuss beaded Kumihimo which for me is more exciting. Take a look at this Kumihimo creation done by a friend of mine. The RAW beaded pendant was my contribution.

Kumihimo Braid with Beaded
Bead Pendant