Kumihimo Braiding & Kumihimo Braids with Beads
The literal translation of kumihimo means the “coming together (kumi) of threads (himo)”. In samurai times, Kumihimo was used extensively for wrapping sword handles for a better grip, and also to make armor for horses.
There are many different kumihimo braids, some more complex than others. I’ve made braids with as few as 8 cords, and as many at 16 cords, but some braids are made with many more. In the banner photo I’ve created a coiled bracelet of silk strands with the edo yatso kumihimo braid (basketweave), and finished the ends with peyote stitched endcaps. Browse the Kumihimo samples in my Portfolio to see just a few of the possibilities!
There are so many different kumihimo braids, it’s impossible to show them all here. On the left is a basic 8-strand braid, and on the right is a Laramie braid, which is braided around a core.
Traditional Kumihimo Necklaces
Traditional Kumihimo braiding is done with very fine silk strands. These braids are done with faux silk, with many fine strands bundled together to create one “cord.” The braid on the left is a flat braid, while the braid on the right is square.
Kumihimo braided in the basketweave pattern with 16 silk strands worked around plastic tubing with beaded endcaps on the left, and thin wires bundled together to make the bracelets on the right.
Kumihimo with beads
Yes, kumihimo can be done with beads! Either all beads (on the left), strands of beads (on the right), or a mixture of cord and cords with beads. The possibilities are endless!