Kumihimo Part 2

Beaded Kumihimo Bracelet

Last week, we discussed the Japanese braiding technique, Kumihimo. I mentioned that the braids could be made using cords of varying thicknesses. However, for beaded Kumihimo, the size of the cord will be determined by the size of the holes of the beads that you will be using. I like to use S-Lon cord. You can choose a colour to coordinate or contrast with your beads depending on your design. The size and type of beads used will also influence the finished look of your jewelry.

Beaded Kumihimo requires a little more prep work than the non-beaded version:
Step 1: Thread a big-eye needle with your cord. Remember the general rule: it is always best to cut a length of cord that is three times the desired length of your necklace or bracelet. For a 7" bracelet, you should cut about 21" of cord. You can always add more beads but not more cord!

Step 2: String the number of beads your finished piece will require. Add 6 beads per inch to each strand, so you will need 42 beads on each strand to make a 7" bracelet.
It is a good idea to make the last bead you string onto your cord a stop bead. This will prevent all your beads from slipping off the end of the cord.

Step 3: Wind each cord end around a bobbin to prevent the strands from becoming tangled.

Now the prep work is complete and you can begin braiding. Make a braid about half-inch long without beads (this makes adding your clasp easier when you are done) and then begin to introduce the beads one at a time. You can follow the video "Kumihimo Braiding with Beads by Beadsmith" on Youtube to see how this technique is completed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utQVPP7ky2g

The necklace shown below is a made of Beaded Kumihimo with Spiral Peyote as the focal point. It was created by a friend as a showpiece for Girlfriend Expo 2013.

Beaded Kumihimo necklace with Spiral Peyote Stitch