Kumihimo is a traditional form of Japanese braiding which involves using cords and ribbons to make bracelets and jewellery. The art of Kumihimo can consist of a variety of braiding techniques and spans back to ancient times, with Samurai once using Kumihimo as laces for their armour. In the beginning, the process was done entirely by hand without the use of any tools whatsoever. Early examples of Kumihimo included very few colours or were entirely monochrome. Over time though, weavers began to develop more complicated patterns while integrating a wider choice of colours.
While many of the tools and practices used to create Kumihimo braids have changed since the art was first invented, many of the wonderful patterns, braids and materials remain the same. A variety of materials can be used to make Kumihimo braids from Rattail Satin and Chinese Knotting cord to ribbons, Superlon and even Craft Wire, making Kumihimo braiding a fun, versatile and creative way of making jewellery. There are so many different patterns that you’re unlikely to ever run out of inspiration and ideas. Whether you’re a fan of minimalist or elaborate designs, Kumihimo is an art that gives you plenty of creative freedom. Anyone can try their hand at making this type of jewellery and if you’d like to give it a go, there are numerous Kumihimo braiding books to help you get started. There are also Kumihimo Jewellery Kits for Beginners which give you everything you need to make your own creations. Other than that, all it takes is creativity and lots of practise to master this ancient Japanese art.