Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads"
Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making using Cords and ribbons which are made by interlacing strands.
This is a very simple way of making bracelets with a variety of different cords and is very simple, only a few items are needed to do kumihimo.
There are lots of different patterns and styles available.
Cord or Ribbon - Minimum of 21" in length
2 end caps
lobster clasp or toggle clasp
cotton or monofilament
The Basic 8 warp kumihimo.
Begin by cutting 8 strands of cord.
Each cord needs to be 3x the length of the bracelet required, so a 7" bracelet would need approx 8 21" strands.
Tie a knot in the end of the cords, and place this is the centre of the kumihimo disc.
Then you need to 'place' the cords.
You put 1 cord either side on the number 8, 16, 24 and 32. so you will have a cross pattern, working with these pairs of cords you begin to braid.
Take the right hand cord from number 16 and put it to the right of the ones by number 32 then bring the left hand one of 32 and put it to the left of the one by number 16 then turn the dics 90 degrees and do this again, right up left down, turn again. continue this pattern until you are right at the end.
If you wish to stop and have a break at any point whilst making, I find that if you put one side up, and then leave it, you always know where to start when you pick it up again.
To finish the ends off, there are two ways;
1. you can use a needle and some cotton and stitch the cords together, then trim and glue a cap on
2. use some monofilament or fishing line and bind the cords together tightly right after the final weave. Then you tie the binding off, trim any excess material off, glue and attach the cap.
To make patterns in the kumihimo braid, it is all about placement of the cords, where they begin determines the pattern you will end up with.
The picture on the left shows where the correct colour cords need to be placed on the board, the pic on the right shows the outcome.
Some patterns need more then 8 cords, when doing these it is best to use a 1.5mm nylon cord or maybe even a 1mm.
For the 20+ warp patterns I recommend 0.5mm cords or they end up very thick braids.
why not make your own patterns - http://friendship-bracelets.net/kumihimogen.php
Simply change the colours to create names or patterns in your designs using the kumihimo generator, you can then save and print the designs.