About the Glossary

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Biron

Biron is a synthetic thread from Japan that mimics silk. It is also less expensive than silk. Imposter is a similar thread also from Japan.

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Bobbins

The term, bobbin, is often used interchangeable with Tama.  However, Tama refer to a very specific type of bobbin, while bobbin can encompass a variety of devices used to gather and organize bundles of threads.  Most braiding stands use a system of weights and counterweights to keep the bundles of threads under tension while braiding […]

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Disk (Disc)

The original foam kumihimo disk was designed by Makiko Tada and made in Japan by the Hamanaka company. Many disks are available in different shapes and sizes and are made by many manufacturers.

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Fingerloop Braiding

This braiding technique allows the craftsman to make a braid free-hand without the aid of equipment, although for long braids another person may beat the braid. Loops of threads are attached to a center point. The loops are then placed over the fingers. Interlacements are created by moving loops from one hand to the other […]

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Fingerweaving

In many cultures (e.g., Native Americans) sashes, bands and straps are created using a technique called fingerweaving. No loom is involved in the process. Rather, threads can be arranged on a stick or bar, or knotted to a stationary object at one end. The rest of the threads hang freely. The artisan braids the threads […]

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Half-hitch

Also called slip knot, slipping hitch the half-hitch is the knot used to hold the threads on the Tama while braiding.  The benefit of this type of knot is that the length of the bundles can be adjusted while braiding without having to rewind the yarn on the Tama every time more length is needed.

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Hira-dama

Braids made on the Karakumidai use special silk threads wound on bobbins called hira-dama. These are very lightweight tama (roughly 5gr to 8gr) traditionally made by folding washi (paper) around a coin. The silk is attached to a leader thread and wound around the hira-dama. As the braid progresses, lengths of silk are wound off […]

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Imposter

Imposter is a synthetic thread from Japan that mimics silk. It is also less expensive than silk. Biron is a similar thread also from Japan.

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Interlacement

An interlacement occurs when a yarn is moved through a group of yarns by going over and under them — for instance: over 1 under 1, over 2 under 3, and so on. Braids are typically oblique interlaced structures which distinguishes a braided structure vs. a woven one. Pictured is a woven interlacement.

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