Kumihimo is a form of Japanese braiding (meaning “gathered threads”) that covers a whole host of different braiding techniques. The tools and practices may have been modernised slightly since these ancient times but the wonderful patterns, braids and materials used remain the same. However, these braids can be made using any type of materials you can think of, from Rattail Satin and Chinese Knotting cord to Ribbons, Superlon and even Craft Wire. Once you have mastered the basic techniques you can experiment with styles, materials, additions and finishes to find the designs that are perfect for you. We especially love the high quality of the Beadsmith Kumihimo range which includes everything you need to make a whole host of projects. Beadsmith are renowned in the beading world for their quality and their product innovations are ever growing, allowing your designs to grow as quickly as your skills.
The beauty of Kumihimo is that you can create as elaborate or minimalist designs as you feel, perfect for different tastes and budgets. The rattail satin cord, traditionally used with Kumihimo braiding, starts from as little as £1.00 for 5m in a whole rainbow of beautiful colours and is enough to make a standard 8 warp weave bracelet. If you want to make a multi-tonal design but are unsure of the colours to use, the Beadsmith Rattail Colour Mixes provide 4 co-ordinated colours with enough cord to make a standard 18 Inch braid. At only £4.50 per pack, in 1mm and 2mm sizes, these packs take the guesswork out of Kumihimo so you can focus on creating the perfect braid. The large range of Kumihimo clasps allow you to personalise your design, including Swirl Toggles, Hook n Eye Clasps and Round Toggles starting from only £0.99. Alternatively, End Caps and Bell Closers (starting at £1.00 for 10) allow you to finish you braid neatly without adding the structure of a toggle, so you are free to add your own lobster clasps, extension chains or link this to another style for a bespoke piece.
Once you have made a Kumihimo braid, you can use this for a whole host of projects. The most common use for these wonderful braids is braided necklaces and bracelets, but these are anything but ordinary! The world of possibilities is endless when creating your Kumihimo designs, including the addition of beads such as Miyuki Seed Beads and Swarovski Crystals or mixing materials such as Beadsmith Metallic Thread and Rattail Satin Cord. There are so many different patterns that you can keep braiding and never run out of inspiration. If you do get stuck, or just need a refresher, there are a number of books to guide you from your first Kumihimo braid to adding beads, creating your own designs and beyond. This relaxing craft is incredibly rewarding and really allows you to let your creativity flow into an array of incredible designs, which is why everyone loves these beautiful braids.
Recent Kumihimo trends have seen the inclusion of luxury Swarovski Crystals to create designs that look amazing and have a wonderful texture: Swarovski Bicone beads give an edgy feel to the design while Swarovski Pearls offer an elegant touch with a perfectly smooth pearlised finish. Miyuki Seed Beads are always a firm favourite with Kumihimo braiding and trends have seen this taken further with the Miyuki Magatama Long Beads. Each bead is petal shaped with more glass per bead than the traditional Miyuki Round Seed beads which allow more light to pass through the bead for a greater sparkle and shine