In the next few months, many of us are signed up for Kumihimo Classes at the Bead & Button Show and the AKS Gathering 2017.  I’m also headed to Florida for a three-month stay where I plan to do a lot of kumihimo. I panicked! What do I take? How much do I take? And, where is it all?  I have a knitting bag where I keep my needles and notions, a beading case that has tools, mats, needles, and all things beads, and a bin for all my origami stuff. But, I don’t have anything similar for kumihimo. It’s just “my kumi stuff” and it’s all over the house. So, I set about organizing and putting it all together.

Here is what I put in my Kumi Kit:

The basics:

  • Marudai, Tama (8, 12, 16 or more) AND don’t forget the hardware (washers & wingnuts)
  • Break apart legs, these make it easy to fit my marudai in my suitcase as they are half the length of regular marudai legs.
  • Counterweight (up to 600 grams)
  • Foam disk
  • Chopstick
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Plastic bobbins
  • Threads & cords, Tex 210, 135 & micro
  • Split rings to anchor warps (or 16 gauge wire to make more)
  • Third-hand tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Hemostat clamp
  • Cord zapper or burner, extra tips, & batteries
  • 2-part epoxy glue
  • Fray Check
  • A few clasps – good to have a few different sizes and some favorites
  • Leather strap to move and hold counterweight on braid
  • Tulip or similar awl for removing knots
  • Tape measure


For Beaded Braids:

  • Beads, lots of beads, kumihimo kits are great when traveling as you don’t have to plan what beads to pack
  • Bead spinner, bead spinner Quick Change Trays™ by Beadalon
  • Needles, big eye and also needles for the bead spinner
  • Beading wire (thin, 49 strand) for braids using crystals, gemstones or other beads “at risk” to cut thread/cord
  • Super glue to end beading wire warps
  • Bead mat
  • Core materials including tubing or soft cording for hollow braids
  • Adrienne’s Cord Gizmo™
  • Small plastic bags for extra beads
  • Yogurt or other cups to easily remove tama and excess beads


For Continuous Beaded Braids:

  • Spring stoppers
  • Silk and other leader threads
  • Size 11 shiny beads to use for stop beads
  • Tourniquet thread (s-lon or c-lon)


Miscellaneous supplies:

  • 24 gauge wire to use as an armature in a braid
  • Magnifiers
  • Ott light portable task light
  • Pen, notebook, and highlighter
  • Ipad and stand
  • Small trash container – I like to have a bowl or other container at my workspace to throw all the pesky excess threads, cords, tape, paper, etc.
  • Back pillow
  • Makiko’s Treatise of Braids:1, patterns, and/or other books
  • Headphones

Whew! That’s quite a list. I’ll likely pare it down depending on the projects.  But, I should be adequately prepared.

What did I miss? Or, forget? Let me know at Let us know your favorite gizmo or must-have gadget!

by Carol Benner, AKS Newsletter Editor