About the Glossary

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Baby Takadai

  The Baby Takadai was developed in the US based on a Japanese design. It is small, portable version of the floor size Takadai. The photo on the right shows the Baby Takadai scale relative to a regular size Takadai. There are a few Japanese versions, but the concept is essentially the same and they […]

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Biron (bee-ron)

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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Braids

Braid

A braid (sometimes called a plait) is a three-dimensional structure created by interlacing a minimum of three strands of flexible materials such as yarns, wire, straw, leather or hair. In some cultures — such as in Japan — braids are constructed by using multiples of 4 elements (e.g., 4, 8, 12, etc.).  In other cultures, […]

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Core Stand

A device used to allow the use of a core in a braid. Core braiding originated with Andean braids which are made in the hand; it was adapted for modern use by Rodrick Owen. A core stand is a device that sits over the top of a marudai and allows additional elements (inactive) to be […]

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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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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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Hekomi (hay-co-me)

The hekomi is a depression in the surface of the kagami (mirror) leading to a central hole through which working fibers pass. It is an important design component which allows the fibers to fall into place with little to no friction near the point of braiding (the point at which all the fibers converge).

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Hira-dama (hee-ra-da-ma)

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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