As I continue my journey into the Japanese art of Kumihimo (ku-me-he-mo), my intention is to advance braiding further into the realm of jewelry design. Because beaded braids are a relatively recent innovation to this ancient technique, there is little information available specific to the needs of the jewelry artist. To fill this gap, as I develop new innovations I will share my discoveries here, or on my FaceBook Page. Check out my Links page for more Kumihimo resources and suppliers.
Learn How to Adjust Braid Length
When making projects using the Yatsu Kongoh 2-drop braid where the beads are counted on the warp cords, it is helpful to know how to lengthen or shorten the pattern. This requires knowing how many beads are in one inch of braiding, here are some helpful tips, formulas and information. Download PDF
Learning to use a bead spinner is an essential skill when making kumihimo beaded braids. There are many good videos on YouTube and I have written instructions that you can use as well. Bead SpinnerPDF
These videos are intended to be used in conjunction with my written instructions and are designed for students who have taken one of my classes, or purchased a kit. However, I gladly share my techniques with anyone interested in kumihimo beaded braids. I hope you find these helpful.
Preparing Warp Cords for Yatsu Kongoh (8 Warp Round Braid) Beaded Braid
A simple method of preparing warps to create a small knotted section at the beginning of the braid. The small knotted section makes it easier to attach findings and use creative closures.
After attaching the four cords to the split ring ADD BEADS
A Tama Loop is tied at the end of each warp cord once the beads have been added. The Tama Loop will be used to attach the tama to the warp. Make the Tama Loop as soon as all the beads are on each warp cord to keep the beads from coming off the cord.
Using the end of the cord, about 6 to 8 inches (15cm to 20cm), fold the cord double and tie an over hand knot as illustrated in photo 1, making a small loop (about 1 inch) at the end of the cord as shown in photo 2. This loop does not need to fit over the tama. See video below Attaching Tama to Cord to see how the small tama loop becomes a slip knot.
Beaded Braids: Attaching Tama to Cord, Both Right Handed and Left Handed:
After all of the warps are attached to the split ring, the beads have been added and tama loops have been tied, place the split ring through the hole of the mirror, slide a chopstick through the ring from underneath the mirror and secure two of the warps to the top of the mirror with Painters’ Tape.