Tag Archives: Kumhimo

Kumihimo tricks and tips

15 May

The lady at the bead shop told us in the spring of 2012 that we were about a year ahead of the kumihimo trend. When we first started making bracelets with buttons we could only find one other person incorporating a button in their kumihimo design and the way they finished off the bracelet was completely different. Well, it looks like the lady at the bead store was prophetic! We are amazed at the kumihimo and button creations showing up on Google and Etsy these days.

Now that the kumihimo trend has caught on, I thought it would be nice to share some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

1. If you use Magatama beads, you will need a bit more C-Lon then just seed beads. Adjust the length of your cord for larger or smaller beads accordingly. The larger the bead, the more cord you need.
2. We usually measure one strand of C-Lon or S-Lon by measuring it from our hand to shoulder with arm extended.
3. I like to measure all eight strands at the same time and then cut once, keeping four strands doubled (to make eight strands). This way I can thread the strand through the button holes and have eight strands ready to go.
4. At the beginning, don’t braid more than 1/8″ or your button will stick out. You want the button to lay as flat as possible on the wrist for comfort.
5. Be sure to keep your cord taught on the loom. This will keep your design uniform.
5. If you need to take a break, do it when you have three cords at one spot. Then you will know right where to pick back up.
6. When finishing, use a good glue and be sure your knot is secure.
7. If you run out of cording, you are toast. You can always add beads but not cording.
8. Remember your cording will show, so match it to the beads or button.
9. If you miss a bead and don’t find it until after the piece is done, you can add a bead by threading cording and a bead on a needle and working it into the missed space. Just run your cord through a few beads on either side and secure with a hidden knot, like in sewing.
10. Don’t make your finished loop too long. If you do (we did this many times at first), go back and re-tie your finish knot, cut off the excess, and be sure the loop is just barely big enough to fit around the button. Otherwise your bracelet will look odd.

Hope these tips and tricks make your kumihimo experience a bit easier. Enjoy!

Beth
View our creations on Etsy

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Magatama glass seed beads

25 Oct

When we first starting researching which materials we wanted to use for our Kumihimo bracelets, we noticed a longer glass seed bead among the common round glass seed beads. We loved the look. Now if we could find the bead!

We went on a search to find these unique beads in the local stores of San Diego. We quickly learned these beads have several descriptions; dragon tooth, dragon scales, long seed beads, 4×7 Magatama, peanut. It seemed each store had a different name for it. Even calling ahead didn’t work since the Magatama beads are called so many different names if they said they had magatama beads, we would arrive at the store only to find out if was either the wrong bead or they had one or two colors of it.

Next we researched the Internet and lo and behold, there they were. We now order the Magatama beads almost exclusively online. We love the shape, texture and array of colors in these beautiful beads. To view our kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads…CAAZandeffect

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