Kumihimo 組紐 is a type of Japanese braiding, typically done on a marudai, a takadai or a foam disk. My experience has been on a foam disk ("kumihimo disk") though I have recently acquired a marudai to play with, I just need to get the appropriate bobbins ("tama").
There are two main ways I know of to start a kumihimo braid. The following directions are for an 8-strand braid.
- Take your 8 strands and tie one end into a knot. Place the knot within the hole of disk and place the loose threads in the appropriate notches.
- Take 4 strands (twice the length required), fold them in half and tie/knot them at the halfway point. Place the tie/knot within the hole of the disk and place the loose threads in the appropriate notces.
My usual materials consist of the following:
- 1 disk.
- Bobbins ( 1 for each strand)
- 1 weight ( a drawstring bag with pennies work)
- Thread/yarn in desired colors
- I typically use cotton crochet thread size 10
- Ruler (for measuring thread, optional)
- Scissors/clippers (something to cut the thread)
I've found wrapping the thread around a ruler is a great way to get a more or less even length among the strands. For suggested strand length, about twice as long as the desired finish piece is recommended. This may vary depending on the braid and the thickness of the strands.