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Getting Started with Kumihimo - 8 Warp Basic Round Braid

Kumihimo is a form of Japanese braiding using various types of stringing material, often combined with beads to make exceptional jewelry. The term Kumihimo in Japanese means the gathering of threads. This technique involves using different types of looms to achieve different types of braids. The possibilities are endless and can be customized to suit everybody, so find your Kumihimo supplies and get started!

When doing Kumihimo you will learn that using a different number of strands, as well as different colors, will change the overall look. Different types of stringing material can also change the look, as well as adding beads to all or some of the strands. Keep in mind that you may not want to use a stringing material that stretches.

In Kumihimo, each thread in one single "slit" is referred to as a warp. Here we will be using the round Kumihimo disk with 32 slits to create an 8 warp basic round braid. A good rule of thumb when measuring stringing material is to multiply the length you want by three. This will accommodate most designs unless you are using larger beads, in which case you may need to adjust the length. Once you have mastered the basic round braid, learn how to add beads to Kumihimo.

Setting Up the Disk

Step 1 STEP 2 STEP 3
Gather all eight strands and tie a knot at one end. If you are using extra long lengths we advise using bobbins to keep your strands from tangling.
Drop the knotted end into the center hole on the Kumihimo disk.
Separate the strands out into four groups with two strands each and lay them over the disk at the black positioning dots. When setting up the disk, the number 32 should be at the top.
Starting with 32, place one strand on each side of the dot. Gently pull the strands into the slits.
Move directly across the disk and place one string into the slit on either side of the black dot (the number 16). Keep enough tension on the strands to maintain the knot in the center of the hole in the disk.
Moving to the right hand side of the disk, place one strand into the slits on either side of the black dot (the number 8).
Move across to the left side of the disk and place one strand into the slits on either side of this black dot (the number 24). Once all the warps are in place your disk should look like this. Note that the knot is still centered.

Starting the Braid
Please note that when we mention a numbered slit, it refers to the slit to the left of that number.

You may want to keep some weight under the knot in the center of the disk, especially at the beginning of the braid to keep a tight uniform look to the braid as you progress. You can do this by hand, holding the knot end and gently pulling down as you go along, but it may be easier to tie a small bag with twenty-five pennies in it to the knot. This frees up both hands for braiding.
Start by moving the warp in slit 17 up and directly across the disk to slit 31.
Move warp 1 directly across the disk to slit 15. Remember to keep the same amount of tension throughout the braid so you produce an even braid with no bumps.
Turn the Kumihimo disk clockwise 1/4 turn. The black positioning dot at number 24 should now be located at the top.
Move warp 9 to slit 23. Remember to keep tension on the threads.
Move warp 25 across to slit 7.
Turn the disk clockwise 1/4 turn to the next set of warps. As you can see, you are basically repeating steps two through four with each set of warps (up and left, down and right). After a few times around the disk the numbers donÂ’t matter much anymore.
Continue steps two through four until you have reached the desired length. The length will be determined by the design and the method in which you plan on finishing the ends.
Remove the braid from the disk and tie a knot on the unfinished end.
Using Nymo D string, tie a knot close to the end of the Kumihimo braid.
Wrap one end of the Nymo around the braid as tight as you can. Use the other end of the Nymo to wrap around the braid in the opposite direction from the first.
Tie another knot in the Nymo and use a thread burner to remove the excess.
Cut the knot from the braid.
Cut the end to a length that will accommodate your end piece. We chose to use a crimp end with a loop.
Slide the crimp end over the end of the braid to cover the Nymo thread and crimp with a pair of chain nose pliers.

Kumihimo Kits

The Beadsmith Kumihimo Braiding Kit for Beginners
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The Beadsmith Root Beer Float Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Petite Evergreen Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Black Ice Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Honey Butter Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Caribbean Sonata Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Caribbean Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Petite Wheatberry Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Peaches and Cream Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Petite Pebblestone Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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The Beadsmith Jet and Crystal Kumihimo Jewelry Kit
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