Kumihimo – the name for this ancient Japanese craft is complicated, but the basic technique is easy – so let’s learn How To Do Kumihimo! (There are more complicated variations, but those are for another time!)
The traditional Kumihimo loom is wooden and called a marudai. It consists of a disk with a hole in the middle, mounted on a stand so that both hands are free to work the fibers. Excess lengths of fiber are wound on wooden bobbins and pulled out to use as needed. You can also use the plastic bobbins that are easy to find.
The wooden loom has no markings, so the artist must pay careful attention to her work.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners. Your purchases via these links may benefit Create Whimsy. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.
Lucky for us, there are beginner-friendly modern tools available to us in many bead and yarn shops.
The Kumihimo Loom (often called a “Kumihimo Disk”), is usually made of foam with numbered slots around the perimeter. There are several brands available. They are inexpensive, light, sturdy and portable. If you mark the turning direction on the disk with a Sharpie, then it’s easier to keep your braid consistent.
The process is exactly the same even if you choose to use different materials! So have some fun and experiment!
Try using sari ribbon or yarn, made from recycled saris so the fibers have a lovely patina.
You can make Kumihimo braids with anything, as long as it fits in the slots on the loom! Learn more about Kumihimo with sari ribbons and yarns.