Nigatsubebe's Blog

{March 13, 2010}   Kumihimo Love

I’m in love with traditional Japanese crafts, such as kumihimo- the art of ornamental braids. Traditionally, a marudai would be used with a series of weights and weighted bobbins to weave silk threads into round braids to be used for scrolls, obijime, cords for handbags, etc. A different loom would be used for flat braids, which is larger and more complex, similar to a fabric-weaving loom. Both last for many, many years and are exquisite, made of the finest woods and metals.

The past few days, I haven’t slept at all. Yesterday I was up for twenty-four hours straight. While waiting to be tired, I made a small handheld kumihimo loom out of cardboard, imitating the Kumiloom. It is easy to hold, since it’s very small, but you have to work harder to keep the threads on the paper bobbins (the cards that hold embroidery thread, which is what I’m using for my first practice himo). If you just let them loose, the bottoms will tangle horribly and you’ll have to toss the whole thing. It can take many hours to make only a foot of cording. It’s very time-consuming but worth it when it comes time to make your own custom-coloured ties. If I can’t find a nice one that quite matches a special cotton I’m using at the store, I can make one at home with DMC floss in any colours or styles I want- even ric-rac shaped woven flat cords!

I’ll have to find the tutorials I used last night. I was using a different computer, so the links weren’t saved.

On a related note, I am feeling hugely inspired- I bought all kinds of items today, and I can’t wait to make everything I have planned! It’s going to be great!


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