Welcome to A Tranquil Nook Blog

We welcome you to follow along on our crafty adventures. Frank is a farmer by day, jewelry and hand braided cord-maker by night. Jane simply fiddles with fabric and fiber any time she can. We share things about what we make, how we make it, where you can get it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hand Braided Cord - Simple, basic, 7 Strand Method

This is an overview of the braiding tutorial we have posted on flickr.

We first learned this method back in 2007 when attending the annual Shepards Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival we picked up a small Kumihimo kit from the Weaver's Guild of Minnesota We went to learn nalbinding - but were fascinated by the Kumihimo and found it faster to learn.

Frank remembers his grandfather making steel cord cables using a similar technique in the late 1940s. The family business was construction and his Granddad was one of a few cable makers in Nebraska at that time. Most of the cables he made were used in grain elevators. When his Granddad became too frail to move the reels of wire, Frank would move the reels under his grandfather's tutelage. The similarities peaked Frank's interest and enthusiasm. He has been braiding ever sense.

While one can obtain very fancy and expensive stands to make kumihimo braids - simple braids can also be created with an easily cut form and perle cotton threads. We have made up two types of DIY (do it yourself) kits and have been offering those for sale at local shows and in one of our Etsy shops for several years now. Our goal is to help others get started with ease. We are happy for people to make their own disks - out of cardboard or foam. We offer the kits, because it does take some time and planning to collect materials and get started. Watching us work on a disk, and taking one home ready to go, simply increases the likelihood of someone actually making their own cord. It gets people to the crafting stage faster.

Frank has moved on to one of the large disks using more thread strands and creating more complex designs and higher quality cord than can be achieved with the 7 strand disk. As for me, the more complex weaving in the round is beyond my abstract mind and takes a type of focus and consistency that is beyond me. The repetition of the 7 cord method works for me and is actually rather soothing. A nice change up from my usual creative style.

So I simply make bookmarks and drawstrings.

Frank makes elegant cords for necklaces.

If you have questions on hand braided cord and are in the Bemidji area, we will be at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market two more time this year (October 23 and 30.) Or just ask here in the comments or in the comments area on our flickr album.

Wondering how to say --- Kumihimo --- sound it out like this----- koo-me-he-mo.
from the Japanese
Kumi, meaning to plait and Himo, meaning string or cord.

Together it becomes Kumihimo, meaning plaited cords, therefore braids

You might also like:

Video on disk braiding a 7 strand Friendship Bracelet using wool yarn

PDF - instructions by A. G. Lindsey Happy Endings: Turning Kumi Braids Into Necklaces and Bracelets describes in photos and words how to finish braid ends with jewelry findings .

BraidersHand - for information, large
disks, plates, and other supplies.

Nordic Needle, Inc.
- "What is Kumihimo" article from their newletter archive, Nordic Needle is a day trip away - in Fargo, ND


Thanks for visiting and reading,
Enjoy your day,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pronunciation tip Jane, I *always* say names like that in my head - even the daftest online IDs get pronounced somehow. I've a feeling I may have made simple versions of those cords years ago as a school fad, I'll have to go and look at the vid.