Kumihimo – What Is It?

Samurai Sword Hilt

Samurai Sword Hilt

New but old! You may not be familiar with this ancient Japanese braiding technique that was and still is fiber based. Originally, the braids were made flat and would be used to:

  1. Wrap the hilt of the Samurai Sword;
  2. Create carrying straps for the Samurai Sword;
  3. Connecting pieces of the armour together; and
  4. Obijime – connecting the Obi to the Kimono.
 
Kumihimo Loom

Kumihimo Loom

Today, Kumihimo is made round as well as flat and beads are added to the projects creating amazing textured jewelry pieces. Kumihimo is made on a loom called a Marudai, traditionally made of wood and sits 16″ or 24″ off the floor.

Kumihimo Snakeskin by Ann Turpin Thayer

Kumihimo Snakeskin by Ann Turpin Thayer

 

And today, Kumihimo is made round as well as flat using a portable hard foam disk called the Kumihimo Loom. From here we set up our project with silk or other cording in one or several colors, and beads or pearls. Stringing the minimum of 8 strands, maximum of 32 strands, with beads is the tedious and time consuming part. Weaving the pattern you choose is “getting Kumihimo Looming into the zone”.

Kumihimo Loom

Kumihimo Loom

 
Picasso Turquoise Kumihimo Bracelet by Ann Turpin Thayer

Picasso Turquoise Kumihimo Bracelet by Ann Turpin Thayer

This Kumihimo bracelet I made with Japanese Magatama – 4mm x 7mm, Picasso Miyuki long Magatama beads with size 8/0 seed beads, galvanized silver round beads and has Argentium™ Sterling Silver and Sterling Silver ends and toggle clasp. This and other Kumihimo pieces are available on my website and the Courtyard Gallery in New Buffalo, MI.

 
Kumihimo & Viking Knit by Ann Turpin Thayer
  • Turquoise Sky Kumihimo Necklace
  • Turquoise Necklace
  • Study in Black and White
  • Snakeskin
  • Red Hot Mama Kumihimo Necklace