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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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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