Kumihimo NecklaceWhat is Kumihimo?
Kumihimo is a form of Japanese braiding.

What tools do I need for Kumihimo?
Traditionally kumihimo braiding is done on a wooden stand called a Marudai, but these days most people use a foam disk with notches to hold the cords in place. You’ll also need bobbins to wind your cords onto to keep them from tangling while you braid.

Kumihimo Disk & Bobbins

What can I braid?
You can use pretty much any fiber you can think of for braiding… satin, silk, leather, yarn, ribbon… The sky’s the limit. Most people begin by using a type of satin cord that is sometimes called “Rattail.” This is what we use in our “Kumihimo Basics” class.

How do a finish the ends?
After you are finished braiding you bind the ends with a “whipping knot” and then glue on an endcap. If you choose a magnetic endcap your clasp is built into the endcap. If not, you’ll need to add a clap using jump rings.

Do I need to take a class or can I learn this on my own?
Basic kumihimo is pretty easy and some people can pick it up just by following the directions that come with the disk. However, people have different learning styles and many people prefer to be shown in class how to do a new technique.

It says the prerequisite for the class I want to take is previous kumihimo experience. Do I have to have taken a class at Design & Adorn?
No, if you are self-taught or took beginning kumihimo elsewhere that’s ok. What’s important is that you are comfortable with the basic 8-strand braid (top-right down, bottom-left up, turn) including set-up and finishing. Binding and finishing is only covered in “Kumihimo Basics” and “Essential Kumihimo”. It is assumed you have those skills by the time you move up to an intermediate class.