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Monday, December 31, 2012

Craft Book Challenge Week 51: Japanese Braiding

When I was a kid, my best friend lived on a sheep farm. Her mother had a spinning wheel in the corner and a full–sized loom where she would weave the yarn she had spun into beautiful fabrics.

I was fascinated with the process. She taught me to card wool and spin a little on a drop spindle. My brother wove my lumpy yarn into a lap weaving and won a state fair ribbon.

Weaving is little more than the process of moving strings in and out of place to generate a growing fabric. Japanese braiding or Kumihimo also is the process of swapping strings to build round and flat cords.

Last week, I found a square Kumihimo plate in the hobby shop while my husband was replacing parts for his new radio–controlled flyer.

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Swapping a few strings of silk embroidery ribbon quickly generated a flat cord.

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I had no choice but to go to the library and find a book on Kumihimo.

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You can buy a round foam Kumihimo disk or make one from stiff card. Once you learn the simple moves, you swap the warp and weft to make round and square cords.

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The notches take the place of weighted bobbins in traditional Kumihimo.

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I even experimented with multiple strands of 32–gauge gold and copper wire to weave a simple ring.

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The cord makes great bracelets and bookmarks. With thicker cording, you could make purse straps.

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Experimenting gave me toothed flat cord.

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While my woven cord doesn’t compare to the spinning and weaving I’ve never been able to master, I enjoyed how quickly I could produce the cord. I plan to experiment more with color combinations and cording size. If I can’t weave flat, I’ll gladly take round weaving.

One week left of my craft book challenge!

Thanks,

Aimee

2 comments:

  1. These bracelets are so cute.. I used to enjoy making them for my friends in school. :)

    ReplyDelete

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