What is Kumihimo?

Pandy KumihimoAbout two years ago, I came across a new (to me) beading technique called Kumihimo and fell in love with it. It is so easy to do and the results are beautiful. You’ll see many of my upcoming posts showcasing the Kumihimo braid.

Japanese Marudai

Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braiding technique using threads and beads and most often done on a Marudai, a round wooden stand that traditionally was used while kneeling on the floor. Now Marudais can be made to be used while sitting in a chair (much easier on those old knees). Wooden Marudais such as the one pictured above and available at Braidershand and other places are much more expensive then their foam disk cousins, which I use.

Foam Kumihimo disks and bobbins
Foam Kumihimo disks and bobbins

Many online beading sites offer the foam disks. Riogrande.com offers a beginning Kumihimo kit for $8.95, as pictured above, which includes two foam disks and plastic bobbins used for winding your thread.

Threaded Kumihimo disk
Threaded disk

There are numerous patterns and tutorials available on the internet and learning the technique is quick and easy. A great site for everything jewelry making is Firemountain Gems. You can find just about anything you need on that site and the shipping cost is reasonable and fast. Check out their site for a beginning Kumihimo tutorial.

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