Jump to content

Kumi-himo


Janel

Recommended Posts

Shinji Haneda - creator of silk cord products Kumi-himo on the Edo Craft web site.

 

I think that this was a topic question a while ago. Doug Sanders perhaps was the question asker, and Doug, did you try making kumi-himo? I did a long while ago, but had only a rough form to work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found on a four cord (actully leather thong) braid it took about half an hour for about three feet length of finished braid, maybe an additional 15 minutes set up. Of course, the leather braid didn't need to be particularly perfect, and I suspect 6 cord braid would take considerably longer, especially if you needed a "fine art quality" rather than a "craft quality" product. Not meaning to re-ignite the art/craft debate thing...

 

In making my kumihimo setup, I came up with a handy method of quickly making the little weaving spool thingies. I went to the harware store (ironmonger for the Brits out there) and bought a box of large fender washers (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter with a large central hole). I took a dowel that would fit through the central hole, screwed in a small cup hook at the top and glued a wooden washer at the bottom. The washers slide over the hook at the top and are held on by the wooden base, and you can easily alter the weight of each by adding or removing washers. The central weight system is the same except the dowel is longer - it needs to have half the total weight of the weaving spools. For example, if I'm using four spools with 5 washers each (total of 4 x 5 = 20 washers) then the central spool needs 10 washers (handy rule of thumb). More weight on the spools equals looser weave, less weight equals tighter weave.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the measuring and set-up can take some time. I buy the silk in hanks that are about 6 or 7 feet (can't remember exactly) and around 40 strands for $8. The strands need to be separated into 10 each per spool (for the weight of cord I generally make). It takes time and space and then you get a knot and shout and the roof comes down! There are also 8,16,and 32 spool patterns, but I think anything over 8 would create a braid too large and stiff for our purposes.

Once the set-up is done, I suppose it's anywhere from 1/2 - 1 hour per foot. Tom's right though- his leather braid, being larger in scale would have taken much less time on all fronts. Like anything, the product reflects the time and patience you put into it. I'm certainly no braiding pro.

 

There are quite a lot of Kumihimo groups and websites out there. Have a look :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know of any off the top of my head- Google retrieves quite a few with a simple keyword search. I think there is a Yahoo group or two. Most of the braiding out there in this craft form is done with a takadai which is a much more complex looking loom. It is capable of quite wide, flat braids of detail and complexity. Used for things traditionally like tsuka cord, armor lacing, and obi jime-decorative accent braids worn over the obi on women's clothing.

 

The marudai is easy to make but by comparison limited in complexity. A great book to start out with is by Catherine Martin, "Kumihimo-Japanese Silk Braiding Techniques" cat # 746.1 MAR My public library has a copy, so I'd imagine a place like Berkeley's P.L. would have one too. If you're into it, and want to build one you can get it done in a long afternoon. I purchased the spools (tama) from Mountain Loom- very good quality.

 

Hope that helps,

Doug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...