Ito Sabaki: Ito – meaning threads, yarns or string and sabaki – meaning to perform. This is the process of taking the twist and tangles out of fibers. This smoothing process is performed prior to winding the threads onto tama. Begin by separating the thread bundles. Select one bundle. Start at the top of the stand, gently begin untwisting the threads the opposite way of twist and combing the threads to smooth the tangles, until you get to the end of the bundle. Repeat this process until all threads in bundle are smooth and even.

 

This is the link to Michael Hattori’s video of this process. LINK

To finish Ito Sabaki gently grasp the thread bundle between the thumb and forefinger (as in the picture to the left), begin smoothing by moving  finger and thumb up and down while  keeping the bundle under tension and work the whole length of thread bundle. The goal of smoothing is to make sure threads are parallel, no threads are hanging loose and to remove the twist from the thread bundle. This process will ensure smooth, even stitches when braiding.