Kumihimo Weaving

Kumihimo is the ancient Japanese art of weaving decorative braids and cords. The most prominent use was by Samurai warriors who once use this form of weaving to make the braided straps for their armors, which may have required up to 300 yards of braiding. These warriors were required to master this technique which is what they spent their time doing when not in battle.  There are many ancient cultures that used Kumihimo and continue to use this method of braiding for various uses, most of which compliments their clothing. It was much more recently that kumihimo weaving of belts and cords was used for decorative lacing, enhancing clothing, art, and jewelry.
These kumihimo braids are traditionally created on special wooden stands called Maru Dai and Takadai. The literal translation of kumihimo means the “coming together (kumi) of threads (himo)”. Although, I find the patterns, shapes and designs of silk threads and yarns most beautiful, my passion is with beaded kumihimo jewelry. Of course, my jewelry designs are most often more Bohemian or “chunky,” so the larger the beads and the more unique the bead shapes.  the more challenged I am with my Kumihimo weaving.
Every piece is handcrafted with serious thought and precision at each stage. All of the pieces are unique and most are one of a kind. Some patterns are basic and carry their pattern’s design regardless of the type beads used.  The real thrill and challenge for me is incorporating huge, elongated bead shapes and a plethora of metal or other handmade component into my work.