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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Tiki Carving » » Kumihimo Tutorial 1.0 (The First One)
Kumihimo Tutorial 1.0 (The First One)
Sebastian Urresti
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 20, 2007
Posts: 29
From: Argentina
Posted: 2008-12-21 3:45 pm   Permalink

Hello All!

Here is what I promise, the first Kumihimo tutorial (To be honest with you, this is the least that I can do for our Tiki Central Iwi). I want to say that this tradition is very rich and the only thing that I want to do is to share the little I know about with you.

First we need the stool that is called Maru Dai. Here is a drawing of what can be simply constructed, the first is not mine but Stephen Myhre´s design and can be placed with a C-clamp to any table, the other is an adaptation that I made from the original that has four legs and a base, this one has only two attached to a rectangular base long enough to be also attached to a table with a C-clamp. (I´ll send a photo soon). The circle can be 4" wide and 1" for the middle hole, that small Maru-Dai will be useful to make 4, 6 and some of the simpler 8 strand braids.

Once that we have the Maru Dai we need the Tama, or bobbins were the thread is placed. If you don´t have this you can put the strand around a piece of hard cardboard with an extra-weight attached to it and cut it with the outer shape of the Tama, that is with a waist. The important thing is that the four, six, eight, etc. pieces have the SAME weight. Once you have all the pieces you need to find a counter-weight that is equivalent to the 45% of the total weight. More weight = a loose braid, less weight = a tight braid. The counter-weight can be made with fish weights.
What I honestly do is to wrap around the Tama as much fiber as I can, then I tie the four ends and the counter-weight and star braiding as long as I want, once I reach the desired lenght I cut the braid and tie its ends. You will have to study the weights according to the fiber that you are braiding, sometimes if the fiber is too hard you will need a little more than 45%.
WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING! Or use your memory...
The base of Kumihimo are clockwise and anti-clockwise movements and all the infinit combinations of them.
Here is the first braid called Maru Yatsu that is made with 4 strands.

Red is step 1. North dot will be right hand, South dot will be left hand.
Black is step 2. West dot will be right hand, East dot will be left hand.
Now to finish we have the color arrangement and here are the folkloric combinations:

The first is a vertical pattern. The second is a spiral. The third will make a spot that goes in a spiral too. The fourth is a three color spot with two vertical lines.
Well, I hope that you all enjoy this. Any doubt, please ask.

-- - --

Here´s the way that a fiber is attached to the bobbin. I hope that you all understand the process. Once that all the fibers are tied to the counter-weight ( or hold them with your teeth as I do ) follow the instructions:
Step 1: Hold the bobbin with your left hand place thumb and finger of the right hand on the warp.
Step 2: Pass the bobbin away to form a loop.
Step 3: Flip your hand right and pass the bobbin through the loop. Pull and that´s it, DONE!

I hope that you understand the process, is not hard to do and once you´ve learned it is easy.

-- - --

Here is another braid for you. That is the start of more complex braids.
Here is a 6 fiber braid inspired in the Edo Yatsu braiding style, the color arrangement and its explanation.

Step 1: North black dot will be Right hand, South-East black dot will be Left hand then both hands will move together.
Step 2: South-West black dot will be left hand then will make one move to the North.
Step 3: North red dot will be left hand, South-west red dot will be right hand then both hands will move at the same time.
Step 4: South-East red dot will be right hand then will make one move to the North.

Here are some classical color arrangements.

You can work sitted on the flour, on a chair or standing up. The Maru-dai sholud be at a comfort height, a little above your navel.
If you can´t keep on braiding, take out the counter-weight and place a chopstik between the bottom part of the Maru-dai and the threads. If I´m not clear I´ll send a photograph.

And last but not least: MOVE YOUR BODY WITH EACH MOVE. Go along with each movement, that will help you to get with the rhythm of braiding.



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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2008
Posts: 174
From: Netherlands
Posted: 2008-12-22 02:58 am   Permalink

Thank you Sebastian,
Very good tutorial on making the braids. I have found there are discs for sale that have slots in the side where you can put the string in place until you need to move it again. You can see them on this page.
http://www.kumihimo.nl/ It's in dutch but it says kumihimo disc on them and from what i can make out from the pic, it has patterns on it as well. I'm gonna try and get one of these disks, some string material and sit down and try my best using your tutorial.
I hope my info helps as well. Would it be a good idea to make this a general tread about making braids for pendants etc.? So other people could post their tips, tricks and info?
Mahalo for showing this technique.

 View Profile of Grapa-RuHa Send a personal message to Grapa-RuHa  Goto the website of Grapa-RuHa     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 30, 2004
Posts: 1574
From: S. Chatham, MA
Posted: 2008-12-22 09:39 am   Permalink

Wow! Thats intense! Thanks for spending the time on this for us. But I am thinking I need to come stay at your house and you can show me in person!!! Ha!

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