Braids 2025 Techniques – Kumihimo Marudai

Kongoh as Influencer of Naiki


Rosalie Neilson

Description:  Kongō Gumi is a very strong, 16-element braid whose 1,160 layouts can be used to create never-before-seen patterns in both Naiki and Naiki Gaeshi. The initial set-up for the two braids is identical where sixteen elements are arranged into eight pairs on the Marudai mirror, but the moves to make the braids differ.

Naiki is a hollow braid which is flattened, whereas Kongō Gumi is a very solid round braid. If the movements of Naiki are repeated twice, a round braid known as Naiki Gaeshi emerges. The patterns differ dramatically between flat Naiki and round Naiki Gaeshi.

In this workshop, braiders will make two samplers starting with an 8-element braid in the middle of the elements. The braid will be folded in half to form a loop. The remaining eight tama will be attached to continue braiding, using Kongō layouts to see how they affect both versions of Naiki. The handout will document patterns of Naiki and Naiki Gaeshi.

Experience:  Beginner, no experience needed although some experience with kumihimo is helpful. Knowledge of S and Z twist helpful.


Six-Spot Braids.                                   Seven-Spot Braids.                              Eight-Spot Braids

Materials:  Marudai, 16 Tama, Counterweight bag with 45% to 50% of combined weight of Tama.  16 elements pre-packaged Silk or Imposter Silk – 8 elements Color A, 8 elements Color B.  If winding a warp, 8 elements each of two colors.  Suggested length – 100” – 108”.  Chopstick, S-hook for hanging weight bag, Scissors, Tape Measure

Instructor will supply:  The handout will document patterns of Naiki and Naiki Gaeshi.

Materials fee: $15 or $50 if you do not have Rosalie’s book.



Carolyn Oliver Haushalter


Most common Japanese braids on a marudai are made using a number of tama that are divisible by eight. Partially inspired by Jacqui Carey’s Book of Braids and a deep dive into lesser-known braid structures, I discovered that there are many stable, repeatable braids that can be made with 14 tama.

In this technique class, students will learn the structures I’ve discovered and be encouraged to try developing their own. This class is for adventurous braiders who are interested in how structures form and how standard sequences can be expanded and contracted. Instructions will include S & Z twist kongo gumi, a flat structure, a squared structure, and a hollow structure in the Edo yatsu/Naiki gumi style. As the students practice each structure, I will discuss my methodology and encourage development of other 14 tama braids.

Experience:  Proficient with 8-strand braids.


Ju Yon Kongo Z                                                         Ju Yon Kongo S and Z


Ju Yon Flat                                                               Ju Yon Rectangular

Ju Yon Naiki

Materials:   marudai, 14 tama with attached leaders, 40-60% counterweight, scissors, chopstick

Instructor will supply:   Pre-cut fibers will be provided 

Materials fee: $25

Beaded Fob Necklace


Adrienne Gaskell

Description: Students will make a beaded braid that starts with a chunky beaded fob that seamlessly splits into two braids.  The necklace starts with an 8 strand Kongoh drop bead braid and then after a short fob has been worked, the braid splits to two 8  strand braids.

Experience: Students must be proficient in braiding an 8 strand Kongoh braid.

Beaded Fob Necklace

Materials:  Marudai, 16 tama, chopstick and weights with weight bag

Instructor will supply:   Kit for necklace

Materials fee: $55

Odd Braids for the Marudai


Elliott Evans

Description:  Starting with traditional 8 and 16 tama Marudai structures, we will add one or more tama which will change the set up from the typical even number to an odd number of tama. This addition will cause the structure and appearance of the braid to change and in some cases will create smoother color transitions.

Experience: Proficient with 8-strand braids and comfortable with 16-strand braiding


Takamaru Braid                                                        Shigeuchi Braid

Materials:  Marudai, 17 tama, Counterweight for 9, 15, & 17 tama, basic marudai accessories like stick, scissors, tying-off cord, etc.

Instructor will supply:   Will provide pre-measured cotton crochet cord

Materials fee: None

Seamless Transitions


Carolyn Oliver Haushalter

Description:  There’s something magical about the long braids of multiple structures that are made in classes or workshops. A little bit of that magic is sometimes lost when moving from one braid to another when the transition steps are not considered.

This workshop will teach 16 tama braids and explain how to move from one structure to the next without bulk or long floats. As the students work through each transition, we will discuss how to apply it to personalized projects.

Experience:  Proficient with 8-strand braids

Braid with Multiple Transitions

Materials:   marudai, 16 tama with attached leaders, 40-60% counterweight, scissors, chopstick. Two packages of Japanese precut metallic, silk, or Imposter/Biron threads, one in color A and one in color B, are recommended as braiding materials.

Instructor will supply:   Instructions 

Materials fee: $25

Asatsuyu Gumi


Adrienne Gaskell

Description:  This necklace is a variation of Oimatsu.  Different sizes of beads and pearls are braided into the braid.  The design can be organic, uniform or something in between based on the fibers and beads that are used.  The class will include demonstrations on how different types of fibers and other braiding materials, such as leather and chain will affect the outcome of the braid.  This will allow students to have the confidence and skills to create their own design based on the look they would like to achieve.


Black and Gold Necklace

Materials:  Marudai, 16 tama, chopstick and weights with weight bag

Instructor will supply:   Kit for class

Materials fee: $65

Andean Braids Boot Camp


Bob Galivan

Description:  This class is a technique-focused class designed to acquaint the student with Andean braiding forms. Traditional Andean braids are made in the fist. Work by Adele Cahlander to diagram braid structures was adapted by Rodrick Owen for the braiding plate and later adapted by Owen and Makiko Tada to the Marudai. After studying with Sensei Tada, Mr. Owen a deep dive into Cahlander’s work, and extensive experimentation, I was able to break down the structures into eight sets of movements that allow most Andean braids to be replicated on the Madurai.

The focus of the class will be 16-element braids, with a 24-element “bonus” braid demonstrated at the end. All braids will be worked using bulky yarn, supplied by the instructor.

The class will progress from basic movements and patterns, building on the skills gained in each step to create more complex braiding patterns. Students will gain an understanding of the structure and unique nature of these braids and will learn how to translate the movements used in the 16-element structures into higher element count, more complex braids.

Experience:  This class is open to all skill levels, but students must be familiar with the setup and use of the Marudai.

Samples of Andean Braids

MaterialsMarudai, 16 tama, min 70 gram, 50% center weight, chopstick, scissors.

Instructor will supply Instructor will furnish yarn to students for braiding.

Materials fee: $10


Transformable Kumihimo Accessories


Yuko Suzuoki

Description: During the class we will make a braid that can be transformed into an accessory.  You will learn how to insert wire to create a resizable braided ring (or scarf closure), how to add thread along the way, how to process it into rings, and how to make various accessories.

Experience:. All levels welcome


Transformable Accessory 1                                   Transformable Accessory 2


Transformable Accessory 3                                     Transformable Accessory 4

Transformable Accessory 5

Materials:  If you have any material you would like to braid, please bring it with you (basically, we will use silk or cotton thread). Scissors, 24-EZ- bobbins (plastic bobbins).

Instructor will supply:   Octo Plate, silk threads, cotton threads, wire.

Materials fee: $20

Leaf Design on Marudai


Yuko Yoshida

Description: “Konoha (leaf)” is essentially a technique of Taka-dai using two layers. Konoha with maru-dai is based on the technique of Konoha with taka-dai and arranged bobbin layout and their movement into maru-dai. Konoha braids are very cute braids consisting of a series of small leaves. In this class, the students will learn how to make a basic Konoha braid using 24 bobbins. The finished braid will be made into a necklace. The students will also get clues how to make variations of Konoha.

Experience:. Intermediate – must be able to braid on a marudai


Kohona Braid 1                                                          Kohona Braid 2

Materials:  Maru-dai, 24 bobbins (between 90g and 120g), counterweight, chopstick, scissors, Threads, magnetic clasps, printed instruction

Instructor will supply:   Threads, printed instruction

Materials fee: $30

Anda Gumi with Beads

Bob Galivan

Description:  This class is an adaptation of the Anda-gumi braid, developed by Makiko Tada for the square plate. After being told in 2013 by Sensei Tada that it was not possible to incorporate beads into the Anda structure, Braider Bob spent the next three years working on developing the technique.

Using a variety of Toho seed beads, students will learn the basics of the Anda braid and how to incorporate beads into the structure. The technique offers endless design possibilities using various bead shapes, sizes and colors. In addition to the class project, students will be provided with patterns and templates to continue to design and develop their unique braids. In the weeks before the class, the Instructor will work with students to select colorways and patterns so class time can be spent mastering the technique.

Experience:  Open to all

MaterialsScissors, notebook

Instructor will supply Foam Disc or Plate, Toho Amiet Thread, Magnetic Clasp, Selection of beads (Design/colorway options will be sent by instructor prior to the conference), Clip.

Materials fee: $50

Sippo Lace and Forked Sasanami


Ikuyo Nishi

Description: Sippo lace is a braid which is combines Edo-Yatsu and Maru-Yotsu.  It is made using 16-tama on a Marudai.

Forked Sasanami is a variation of Sasanamigumi with two rows of Sasanami-gumi.

Both were created by Ikuyo Nishi.

Experience:. All levels welcome

Sippo Lace

Materials:  Marudai, 24 tama of 70-100g, counter weights, scissors.

Instructor will supply:   Silk threads, chopstick, cotton threads.

Materials fee: $30 to be confirmed