Loop Braiding in Japan (Kute-uchi)

Kute -Uchi dates back to the 7th century in Japan. 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. In the Japanese kute-uchi a foot-controlled beater may be used. Loops of threads are attached to a center point. The loops are then placed over the around the hand, which is common in kute-uchi. Interlacements are created by moving loops from one hand to the other according to predetermined sequences. This technique allows the creation of flat, round, square and rectangular braid structures. Typically, a single braider is limited in terms of how many loops he or she can handle. Therefore, complex designs requiring more loops than a single braider can manipulate are created with the addition of other braiders. In this case, interlacements are created by passing loops from one hand to the other and then from one braider to the other.