Kumihimo is a style of braiding that was originally used in ancient Japan. They used the marudi loom for their braiding and make some really intricate and beautiful braiding. The following website will give you more information about the history of kumihimo braiding – http://www.englisch.kumihimo.de/html/history.html.
Today kumihimo braiding can also be done on a nice foam disk. Other types of looms or disks are used as well. Kumihimo braiding is so simple and you can see results rather quickly if you aren’t gabbing with everyone. The following YouTube page has a great tutorial showing how to braid on a Kumihimo foam disk – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suUcFpj4OsA&feature=related.
Why am I telling you all of this… well for Pride Month, on June 20, 2012, the Copley Teen Room Teen/Tween Craft Hour made rainbow braids using a kumihimo disk. We actually ended up making a pretty advanced mode due to the number of strands we used (18 strands). Usually beginners start with 8 strands. And I have to tell you, we did an amazing job. The following are a few pictures of what we made at various stages. It maybe be hard to notice the braids in the pictures but they were there. Also everyone ended up with a slightly different variation than what we started with and really made the braids their own creation.
1. Still on the disk:
2. Finished project
You can make bracelets, necklaces keychains, fobs for your backpacks and more. You can get even more creative as you continue braiding on the kumihimo disk like using glow in the dark thread/floss or adding beads. Kumihimo braiding is such a relaxing craft and you can do just about anywhere, even on the bus. The hardest part is chosing your colors and placement of the strands. I suggest as a beginner to prepare that part at home.