We find ourselves in deeply worrying times with the rapid spread of coronavirus around the globe, but as crafters and makers we have the advantage of being able to keep our (frequently washed) hands busy and away from our faces, while also keeping our minds off the frightening spread of the virus. Kumihimo braiding has huge theraputic value because its rhythmic and repetitive movements are soothing and calming, while the act of creating something has a positive effect on your outlook. Braiding also lends itself well to social distancing and a wealth of learning tools are available online. So my advice is to immerse yourself in your braiding!
A quick look in the shop on this website will show that all the physical items which need to be posted are showing as out of stock. That includes all disks, kits and my two books. However, tutorial downloads are still available in the shop and my second book, Kumihimo Endings, can be bought on amazon. At the time of writing my books and disks could also be purchased from several on-line shops, such as Riverside Beads, Spoilt Rotten Beads, Simply Beadiful, Etsy, Beadhouse and Stitchncraft, but each supplier will have to make their own decisions, so the situation may change.
Crafters are notorious for building up large stashes of materials and equipment, so it is now a great time to work with what you have in your stash. This is where I hope that this website will be useful to as many people as possible. It was set up in 2013 to be a valuable resource for braiders and there is a huge amount of free information to be found in different parts of the site. Over the years I have added to the instructions and made amendments, as the need has arisen. Most of this information can be found under the Resources tab. Click on this tab and you will find a list of free instructions covering the basics of kumihimo braiding. Have a browse and I am sure you will find something interesting.
This is what you will find:
Braiding Instructions is where you will find the step by step cord moves for all of the most common and popular braids. They are round braid, half round braid, hollow braid, square braid, spiral braid and 7 cord braid. I also include instructions for the more unusual box knot braid, which can be made on the round disk.
Braiding with the square plate offers a wide range of braid structures, some of which you will not find elsewhere. I have provided clear photographic instructions and vital notes on how to achieve good tension for each type of braid.
Braiding around a core is a technique which has enabled braiders to achieve more complex designs than used to be possible. It has opened up the possibility of braiding with beads on 16 cords and more, which when I first started braiding was usually said to be impossible!
Jewellery Making Techniques is where you will find useful instructions needed to turn braids into jewellery.
Hints and Tips is self-explanatory, but I have got a few more that I will be adding shortly!
Free Mini Tutorials is a selection of 18 tutorials. They are written in a concise format and are intended for more advanced beginners upwards. I would just like to stress that these instructions should not be compared with the tutorials in the shop which are written in far more detail and include lots of step by step photos and images of examples. The two most popular designs are Four Colour Round Spiral Bracelet and Wavy Disks and I am proud to have seen many wonderful bracelets made using my instructions over the years.
Braiding with Beads shows the correct placement of beads when adding them into a braid.
Button hole fastening and Loop and ribbon closure are two different ways of finishing off a braid. Since writing these instructions I have written a complete book all about how to turn a braid into a piece of jewellery, Kumihimo Endings.
Gemstone Kumihimo is the last on the list, but it is a big subject and there is lots to explore in this section, so I will leave that for my next post.