Kumihimo Beads

Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen

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.


Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen 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.


Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen 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).


Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen 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.

This Thursday’s 2nd challenge Beaded Beauties

unikatissima’s Kumihimo How-to
unikatissima’s Freeform Peyote How-to


7 thoughts on “Kumihimo Beads”

  1. Wow – how fabulous is this and such a lot of work – thanks for joining in with This Thursday –

  2. Love the beads Thanks for taing part. Know what you mean I recently gave my friend a present of a beaded braclet I told her she could tell how much I thought abouy her by the ammount of swear words invested in the braclet

  3. Wow, these are brilliant Susann! And I love the pendant you made with one of the Kumihimo beads, it’s very organic looking :D

    Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog :)

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