Kumihimo is a Japanese braiding technique that can make braids of different shapes. The most common is the round cord, but it can also create flat, hollow, and square braids. I teach a class on Beginning Kumihimo, that begins with making a foam marudai, or loom for braiding. Round kumihimo braids are great or anything you would use a cord for, like lacing, trim, drawstrings, etc. I am in the process of making a traditional wooden marudai and tama (bobbins) to do braiding in the traditional way. In the future, I am also hoping to make and use an ayatakadai loom to make flat braids that are similar to European card-weaving.


The kumihimo cord used to trim my "brag rag" is a kongo gumi braid (this denotes the braiding pattern) made with 16 strands, set up in so that they formed a spiral design (this is determined by the intial arrangement of the strands). I made it in purple and silver because, along with the red fabric base, they represent the colors of my  heraldry.