Thursday, October 3, 2013

3 strand Kumihimo braid

     Recently I found myself with a project that requires braiding a 6ft length of embroidery floss.  Now it is not like I do not know how to make a braid, but at 6ft this proved to be a frustrating task.
     I knew there had to be a better way. After some research I found a tool called the Kumihimo plate.  Kumihimo translated means "gathering of  threads".  The earliest Kumihimo in Japan is believed to be dated to the Nara Period (645-784 AD).
     While there are many different patterns that I would like to learn after getting myself the square and round tool, my main concern at the moment is a basic three strand braid. Since I didn't find a pattern for this I had to figure it out on my own.
1. After measuring out my desired length I wrap my floss around the bobbins that came in my kit.  (These bobbins are the bomb!!) If you do not need such long strands of floss you may be able to get by without using bobbins.

2. You will then tie the three strands of floss together with a basic knot.

3.Now you will want to lay your floss flat on the Kumihimo plate and place one thread into #11, the next into #12 and the last into #14. While you are braiding you will want to hold the base of your braid with your thumb to keep it taught and laying flat.

4.Take #11 and move it over to #13 while holding the knot firmly.

5. Now move #12 over to #11.

6. Move #14 over to #12.

7. Move #13 over to #14 and then repeat steps 4 thru 7 until you reach your desired length.

8. Remember to keep your thumb at the base of the braid to keep it taught and from flipping and twisting.

9. As your braid grows you will be able to slip it into the top of the Kumihimo plate. I put mine into the #2 spot. You still will need to keep your thumb at the base of the braid though.


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