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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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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Karakumidai (car-ah-koo-me-dye)

A kumihimo braiding stand creates a flat braid through a series of ‘s’ twisted threads resulting in a series of diamond shapes called hishi. The threads in this technique can be passive and are hidden by the twisted threads or they can be the twisting threads hiding the passive threads. This is what creates the […]

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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. […]

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