Sunday, 8 July 2007

The Crafter's Way 18

Each week I write a craft column for a local paper. I have reproduced the text here, unfortunately I have been unable to paste in the diagrams. ( I can't work out how). If you need any help understanding the directions please contact me for help.

Kumihimo(cu-me-he-mo) is the traditional Japanese art of Braiding. Evidence of Kumihimo Braids has been found with the Samurai Warriors’ armor. Used to lace the armor together, the braids were only ever made of fine silk thread, as it doesn’t stretch. Traditionally the braids were created on an upright wooden stand called a marudai. Following the gentle, rhythmic sequences of moves, stunning braids are created.

You can have a go at Japanese Braiding without the expense usually associated with using a marudai. Out of cardboard cut a circle with a 13cm diameter. In the centre of this circle cut another circle with a 3cm diameter. Cut 32 notches around the outer edge of the circle at evenly spaced intervals. Using Stranded Cotton cut 4 x 50cm lengths in Colour 1; & Cut 4 x 50cm lengths in Colour 2. Knot all lengths together. Place the knotted ends of threads through the hole. Lay 1 length of Colour 1 across the surface of the circle and place into a notch. Place another length of Colour 1 in the next notch. Rotate the circle 45 degrees. Place 1 length of Colour 2 into a notch followed by another length of Colour 2 into the next notch. Repeat until threads are placed in pairs around the circle.

Start at bottom of wheel. Step 1: Take the left thread from the bottom pair and move it
straight up the wheel to the slot left of the top pair. Take the right thread of the top pair straight down the wheel to the slot right of the bottom pair. Step 2: Turn the wheel anti – clockwise and repeat with the next pair. Repeat until the braid is the required length. To finish off braid; knot, plait or glue end.

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