Simple 8 Kumihimo Braiding Technique


Learn About Kumihimo Braiding

Recently and we’ve been really busy trying out different beading and cord techniques with the new Kumihimo Round boards.  Here are some of the creations we came up with.

All the techniques that follow are based around the Simple 8 Warp Braid technique; the instructions for this are included with all of the round Kumihimo Braiding boards that we stock.

Kumihimo Technique

These fabulous little numbers have had all the girls swooning here at Bead shop HQ and none of us can quite believe how simple this kind of effect is to achieve.

Step 1

First set up you round Kumihimo Board with an 8 Warp Braid using Beadsmith Bead cord in whichever colour compliments the beads you have chosen best. 

Step 2

Now thread 25 4mm Swarovski Bicones onto each cord and roll up each length into a Bob-eez No Tangle Bobbin to stop the cords from tangling and the beads from dropping off.

Step 3

Now weight the centre knot down with something, I personally use my keys, but anything that has a bit of weight will do.  This just creates the tension in the braid and makes the weave flow nicely.

Step 4

Once your board is set up, start off by doing a few turns of the board, using the 8 warp technique (not adding any beads) until you have a braid about 1cm long, this will be used to attach your clasp when your braid is finished. 

Step 5

Next add one bead every time you pass a thread across the board, making sure that the bead you drop is caught under the thread that is running directly across it, like in the picture below.

Step 6

Continue this until all the beads have run out, and then carry on with just the thread, until you have approximately 1cm of braid without beads on.

Step 7

Now you can add a clasp using the same whipping and finishing technique that is explained in the instructions included with your Kumihimo Board.

Kumihimo Discs

kumihimo kits

Kumihimo bracelts

We have found that the 6.2mm Kumihimo Clasps work great with these bracelets, also you can use side opening calottes. We’ve found that if you carefully heat the Beadsmith Bead Cord with a lighter, then the ends will all melt together and you can clamp and glue a side opening calotte over this and add your desired clasp.

You can also use the same technique, with other types of beads, including size 6 seed beads and our Czech Faceted Class Range.

Kumihimo Bracelts

We also tried this technique with ribbon instead of Rattail Cord.  Look how fantastic the end result was with this.

Kumihimo bracelts

This beautiful spiral necklace was created using another technique we tried.  For this you will need to set up your round board using the 8 warp technique, however use bead cord for two warps on one side and use 1mm rattail for the other six, we then threaded beads on to the both of the Bead Cord wraps and added a bead each time one of the warps of bead cord was passed over, this creates the spiral effect around the rattail.

 Helpful Links:


  • Guest

    how do I do the 8 warp braid to start, is there a book.

  • Kellz Nixon

    Is this difficult? xxx

    • Hi Kellz,

      The technique is really easy to master, once you have the hang of it. We suggest trying the bracelet without the beads so you get an understanding of the pattern. Once you have mastered this, it is wonderfully simple!

  • J Hannah

    I’ve not tried this yet but have tried the Trollen Braiding mentioned below and also using a mediaeval tool called a lucette used to make cords for garments and attaching personal items to belts etc.

  • Jenny Wren

    I have made a lovely braid with my newly acquired Kumihimo disk, and have now begun to make a beaded bracelet as shown in your Simple 8 braiding technique of October 26 2012. I am having difficulty interpreting the illustration on how to place the bead UNDER the last overstring. My beads are ending up in one long string, and not ‘knitting’ in with the growing bracelet? Can you help me please?

    • Hi Jenny,
      Sorry to hear you are having trouble with this. Hope this explanation makes more sense:

      Once you have dropped your bead and are passing your cord over to the opposite side of the disc, make sure the bead you dropped is tucked under the cord which runs sideways across the disc. If you do this each time you should find that the beads are start to weave together.

      Its quite hard to explain in text, so please let me know if you need any more help, alternatively please call the office and we will do our best to explain this to you. Our number is 0161 274 4040.

  • Thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial, I am not that good at doing such kind of things at home but will surely try it.

  • Bexi

    I love this 8 warp braid technique, especially the bracelets with crystals. Are they Swarovski 4mm? What kit do I need and how many crystals?

    • Hi Bexi, These are made using 4mm Swarovski Crystal Bicones and each use 200 beads. We do have kits which explain how to do this, I have pasted a link to their page on our website below:

      Hope this helps 🙂

      • Bexi

        ok that’s great – so I just substitute the beads in the kit with the crystals? It looks quite complicated – is it fairly easy to do? I’ve not tried Kumihimo before!

        • This is quite an easy technique to master once you have got the hang of it, I would practice the technique without beads first so you get an understanding of the pattern. You can get a swarovski version of the kit, which is on the link I pasted above. However, they are only available in three specific colours.

          Hope this helps 🙂

  • maggie robbins

    Pls advise what i would need to make bracelet. Eg size of bead and cord. I already have disc but am stuck knowing what to order as seed beads seem too small. Also could u advise on end caps. Many thanks.

  • Elizabeth webster

    I like this idea for a necklace especially with the extension chain. Will have a go myself.
    I learned how to do it by looking on utube, but its good to see the different ways. The shop is too far away for me to visit so this is a good way of seeing how its all done.

  • Pauline bruin

    Most impressed will order cord etc now

  • Kay

    Hi – where in the north east does kumihimo classes as it looks super but would appreciate a proper class.

    • Hi Kay,

      We run Kumihimo Classes at The Bead Shop Academy, this is situated just outside of Manchester City Centre in Ardwick. If you would like to have a look at our classes and possibly book onto one, please follow the link below.

  • Maz

    Saw the bracelets at the classes on friday with the shwarovski rondell beads. they are so beautiful, I am really hooked on Kumihimo!!!

  • Ann Miller

    This is so interesting. I came across this braiding only today. Did you know the Vikings did a similar type of braid making to embellish clothing. They called it Trollen Braiding, using wooden disks with slots in. I have been teaching it to students on the Isle of man for several years. They really love it. I got disks made and used wool. Now i realise how super it would look with cords, ribbons and beads!

  • Trudy

    Well heres strange Im Trudy as well and I don’t want to appear stupid either, but what is the differences besides the obvious of a square board and a round board. Can you use any beads for this project. Thanks would love to give this ago but not sure what to buy, so any help would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Trudy, The square board creates a flat braid, similar to a friendship bracelet, and the round boards create a round braid. You can use the square board to create round braids too, but we find this much easier with a round one.

      The instructions to make the simply 8 warp braid come with all the round boards we sell and in addition to this, you will need Rattail cord (or Beadsmith Bead cord if you want to add beads) and some clasps, these can all be found in the Kumihimo department on the our main website.

      Hope this helps!

  • Trudi

    Sorry to seem stupid, but you need 8 1/2 metre cords for one bracelet??

    • Hi Trudy, yes this should be fine, we recommend 1/2 metre warps for bracelets and 1 metre warps for necklaces.

  • Maz

    These kind of bracelets are beautiful and can be made watching tv!,

  • Trudi

    What length of cord, rattail do you need to make these?

    • Maz

      4 1 metre lengths of cord making the 8 you need

  • LittleInsect

    I’ve just completed a braid using 6 Rattail, one thread of very thin suede and one of crushed velvet. The result has a very soft, slightly fuzzy feel to it

    • Maz

      Has it made a thick bracelet?