Kumihimo Braiding

Kumihimo Braiding

Kumihi-what? Kumihimo is Japanese for “gathered threads”  I discover this term for nicely braided bracelets while looking at a bracelet crafting book I borrowed at the library.

I started doing one bracelet for my daughter and one more, for my son, and another pattern, and … And I ended up braiding half a dozen. After learning the basics, you’ll see that you can braid without even really thinking. It feels so zen and keeps my hands occupied while thinking about other stuff or watching series.

Material

All you need are threads and a weaving wheel. I bought a beginner kit that included 2 foam kumihimo discs along with a bunch of colored embroidery threads. Don’t worry if you do not have a weaving wheel, you can easily create one with card board. the foam wheel is very nice to use though, because it holds the threads very well. Some wheels sold in stores even have the patterns drawn on it along with the instructions on where to put the threads.

Kumihimo Patterns

For each of the patterns explained below, you’ll need to cut threads of about 20 inches / 50 cm long. Tie a knot at the end and then place the threads as shown in step 1 of the pattern. The braiding steps are repeated until you are satisfied with the lenght of the bracelet.

8 Threads

8 Threads Step 1: place the threads as shown, with the knot going down in the center hole.
8 Threads Step 1: place the threads as shown, with the knot going down in the center hole.
8 Threads Step 2: lower the top right thread (yellow) to the right of the bottom threads.
8 Threads Step 2: lower the top right thread (yellow) to the right of the bottom threads.
8 Threads Step 3: take the bottom left thread (yellow) and move it to the upper left position.
8 Threads Step 3: take the bottom left thread (yellow) and move it to the upper left position.
8 Threads Step 4: rotate the disc a quarter turn and repeat the steps.
8 Threads Step 4: rotate the disc a quarter turn and repeat the steps.
Four Colors 8 Threads.
Four Colors 8 Threads.
Red GreenBlue 8 Threads Pattern.
Red GreenBlue 8 Threads Pattern.
Red GreenBlue 8 Threads.
Red GreenBlue 8 Threads.

16 Threads

The 16 threads patterns are essentially braided the same way as the 8 threads pattern. You work on opposing pairs of threads, lower the top right to bottom right, move bottom left to top left and then rotate COUNTERCLOCKWISE to start working on the next pair.

16 Threads Step 1.
16 Threads Step 1.
16 Threads Step 2 Down.
16 Threads Step 2 Down.
16 Threads Step 3 Up.
16 Threads Step 3 Up.
16 Threads Step 4 Turn.
16 Threads Step 4 Turn.
Flowers 16 Threads.
Flowers 16 Threads.
Other 16 Threads Patterns.
Other 16 Threads Patterns.

Twisting 12 Threads

Pay attention, the steps are a little different from the other 2 patterns.

12 Threads Step 1.
12 Threads Step 1.
12 Threads Step 2 Down.
12 Threads Step 2 Down.
12 Threads Step 3 Up.
12 Threads Step 3 Up.
12 Threads Step 4 Turn: notice the yellow threads are now horizontal.
12 Threads Step 4 Turn: notice the yellow threads are now horizontal.
12 Threads Step 5 Down Right.
12 Threads Step 5 Down Right.
12 Threads Step 6 Up Right.
12 Threads Step 6 Up Right.
12 Threads Step7 Down Left.
12 Threads Step7 Down Left.
12 Threads Step 8 Up Left: then rotate to make the yellow threads vertical again and repeat the steps.
12 Threads Step 8 Up Left: then rotate to make the yellow threads vertical again and repeat the steps.
12 Threads Twisting Kumihimo.
12 Threads Twisting Kumihimo.

Challenge for YOU

Make a kumihimo bracelet. Show us your pattern.

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