This Thursday’s 2nd challenge Beaded Beauties gave me the opportunity to do something I wanted to do for a long time: making Kumihimo beads.
Kumihimo is a Japanese technique to braid beautiful cords, but then: what do I do with the cord? It’s way too beautiful (and too labour-intensive! ;-)) to be used as a shoelace for instance.
I thought that it would make wonderful beads, but usually the braids are finished by wrapping some string around the braid and such beads would be much too long.
Therefore I figured out how to make my own Kumihimo beads.
The technique is far from perfect and I hope that you will try it and give suggestions to enhance the technique.
On the first two photos you see Kumihimo beads I made, the blue ones with cotton thread and the black and white ones with acrylic yarn.
All beads were made with 4 light and 4 dark coloured yarns, but I changed the initial positions on my cardboard Kumihimo disk.
You see at the surrounding seed beads how tiny my Kumihimo beads are.
What to do:
Make your Kumihimo cord. I worked about 20 rounds.
When finished, pull all threads into the bead.
And that’s where the problem lies:
If you make the Kumihimo cord ‘the normal way’ you won’t have enough place into the bead to pull all 16 threads in (8 threads at each side of the bead).
I tried different techniques to ‘reserve’ a place for the thick bunch of threads. The best one I found was making a bundle of 8 threads of the same gauge and using it as ‘filler’, that means, working around them (see third photo).
The Kumihimo beads are from fabric and can be stitched however you want. On this photo I surrounded my Kumihimo bead by seed beads and made a kind of Freeform Peyote Pendant.