Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kumihimo Braiding

Kumihimo is a Japanese word. "Kumi" means to plait or gather together, "Himo" a string or cord. So "Kumihimo" means plaited or braided cords. Braiding has been part of almost every culture throughout the ages. The Japanese began braiding cord and silk for the Samurai warriors to lace and decorate their armor and scabbards. Kumihimo Braids are both durable and beautiful, and have patterns in them that are formed by varying the sequence of the thread movements while braiding, as well as by the initial color and number of threads used when setting up the Kumihimo Disk or Marudai.

This braiding technique is very time consuming and labor intensive. For some it is very mundane due to the repetition. I find this technique to be very fun and soothing. Like beading for me it is a way to take the mind away from the everyday troubles.

Kumihimo can be done with almost any kind of stringing material. I find working with different kinds of stringing material you can come up with some amazing cords that can not be found anywhere else. Take for instance my new addition to my web site.


Wire Wrapped Birds Nest Kumihimo Necklace and Dragonfly Bracelet Set





In this set I used dazzle twine in purple and blue. This twine has a glossy exterior that makes the light bounce off it creating a glimmer or dazzle. Who would have thought that dazzle twine could be used to make such a lovely necklace and bracelet. Well me for one. LOL I saw it and let out a little squeal, grabbed it up and proceeded to the checkout. My Hubby looked at me like I was crazy and said "What in the world are you going to do with that?" I said "I am going to kumihimo braid it into a necklace and bracelet!" He laughed at me and said "What ever!" After it was done he changed his tone and told me "WOW that came out nice!" I just smiled at him thinking "Told you so!" LOL

There is no limit to the creativity you can have. Like this next item I have on my web site.


Black and White Beaded Kumihimo with Blue Dyed Agate Pendant, Handmade





In this necklace I used cotton yarn and added seed beads for the focal section and then created sections of kumihimo cording in black for the remainder of the necklace. I used wooden beads for the connector covers for the necklace. In the beaded kumihimo section there are 400 seed beads. Yes you read that right 400 of them. This necklace is truly unique in every way. I always use a heavy duty glue for my cord end caps to ensure they are well secured.

I also wanted to share with you one last item today that I made using the beaded kumihimo in pink and green. It is listed on my web site as well.


Pink and Green Beaded Kumihimo Bracelet with Love Charm, Handmade





In this bracelet there are over 200 size 10/0 seed beads. I added a love charm to add that extra pop. Any of these items would make amazing Mother's Day gifts and every item on my web site is handmade by me. :)

Until Next Time,
Jennifer

4 comments:

CraftsofthePast said...

You have very dextrous fingers, my lady. I once tried kumihomo with thread. I had made a proper table for it , the instructions for a simple starter project, the whole nine yards. I was an absolute failure. I envy anyone who can braid strands in this method. Congratulations on your instructive blog.
Anna

ShadowDogDesigns said...

Wonderful post! Interesting to learn the history behind kumihimo. Might have to try it one day (:

KatsAllThat Artisan Jewelry said...

Very cool designs...I have been dabbling in kumihimo and really do love the look. Your designs are lovely.

ArtBySunfire said...

Lovely work as always Jennifer! I have just added Kumihimo to my "crafting bucket list." : ) Carla