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Found 2 results

  1. Braiding and Kumihimo topic in Techniques: Sebastián Urresti compiled links to several TCP topics for kumihimo, the marudai, and braiding techniques in the topic linked to in this post.
  2. Ok, I’m ready to update on a topic I started on needing a source for cord, and I thought it would make more sense to post here since it involves a DIY project. I finally got and read Stephen Myhre’s book, and I corresponded with some well-known carvers to get some input (thanks to Ian Thorne and Louie the Fish). As Janel suspected, and Stephen notes in his book, this braiding technique is very much like Japanese Kumihimo. In particular, the four-strand braid I was looking for is the yotsu gumi (part of beautiful piece shown in the link). Essentially, it requires four bobbins and a counter-clockwise-then-clockwise pattern on the loom. Looking at Stephen’s book, I fashioned my own loom, and doing some searches for homemade bobbins (tama), I constructed this whole setup (loom and tama) for under $15! Here’s how to make your own kumihimo loom and weighted tama (which can be around $25 for a set of four) (mine are exactly 100 grams each): I bought six wooden spools at Jo Ann’s for $6. Each already had a 3/8” hole drilled through. I also bought a 3/8” dowel and a 5” round wooded plaque there for the loom. It was $1.50 and already round! At Lowes, I bought eight 3/8 x 1 bolts, one 3/8 x 3 ½” bolt, 14 washers (3/8”, though I was looking more for their overall diameter, not their inner diameter), and I bought a small brass hook for my counterweight. To get each bobbin to 100 grams, it worked out (and I admit to bringing a scale to Lowes!), I put one washer on each end of the spool, set a 1” bolt in one end, then dropped one small 2 g. lead fishing weight down the center before putting another bolt at the other end of the spool. I used a bit of multi-purpose cement to glue the washers, lead weight and bolts in place (though I pretty much lightly screwed the bolts in place since the hole was the right size. For the counterweight, which needs to be half the combined weight of the four bobbins (i.e. 200 grams), I used the one long bolt through one spool, put six washers over the exposed end of the bolt, screwed the other spool on (dropped in a couple lead fishing weights to bring the weight up), and then this is different: I pushed the wood dowel into the other end as far as it would go and cut it off flush so I would have something to set my brass hook into. For the loom, I drilled a center hole and carved out four notches (Stephen’s isn’t like this) for my string to stay in place when hanging. I attached the wood round to a stick and attached the stick to a table (or bookshelf, as in my case) with a strong clamp. That way it’s portable! It still takes some practice to get the braid right, but that will come. Already it’s a simpler process than braiding “by hand”, as the video in my original thread shows. Additional Resources: -Ian Thorne uses black 1mm or 1.2mm waxed polyester, or for a “flax” color (like mine) he uses Speedy Stitcher thread (both coarse and fine grades). -I’m using this beige waxed cord from Kit Kraft. P.S. I realize that this setup does not have the versatility of a true kumihimo loom, nor is the counterweight adjustable for adding/taking away bobbins, but for a singular purpose it should suffice well.
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