Kumihimo is a Japanese braiding technique used to make long decorative strands, beautiful for bracelets and necklaces. I picked up the method on a recent trip to Colorado, and have had the foam loom in my hand ever since. This is not at all difficult to learn. You will have a finished piece in no time, regardless of your level of experience. Here you will see how to make an 8 strand braided cord, and how to beautifully, professionally finish your piece with bead cones, wire and a toggle clasp.
This project is great for all kinds of cording; hemp, embroidery floss, eyelash yard, ribbon, satin and more. You can mix different thicknesses of floss and yarn for interesting effects within the same cord. I personally love the eyelash yarn like I used in the above bracelet. Multiple colors can be used, however the spiral effect is best seen if you use 2-3 colors.
SUPPLIES FOR KUMIHIMO BRAIDED BRACELET:
Bracelet 1: 20 inch strands – 1 gray embroidery floss, 2 cream rattail, 2 golden rattail, 2 black hemp, 1 brown eyelash yarn
Bracelet 2: Kumihimo satin rattail 2mm – 2 strands 20 inches of white, green, light blue and aqua
Bracelet 3: 4 strands each of hemp cord in white and brown (20 inches)
Jewelry Glue or super glue
20 gauge wire in finish to match toggle and cones
Gather your 8 strands and tie an overhand knot at one end. Arrange the 8 strands on the loom as shown, with the knot in the hole in the middle. I keep similar colors in pairs, but play with your string arrangement for different effects. There are tons of online patterns for free as well.
Weave as I show you in this quick video:
When cord is an inch or so longer than the final size you want, bind off each end like below. Before removing braid from loom, bind with thread like in the first step.
What do you think? I have been playing with necklaces using this technique, which you will be seeing soon. In the meantime, try it out. I think you’ll love it. It is meditative and simple, with endless design possibilities. What better stash buster is there?
For tons more bracelets, see our tutorials page, and of course our 50+ bracelet round-up!