Tag Archives: thread

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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Kumihimo and fiber

6 Nov

Kumihimo braiding with fiber has endless possibilities. Ribbon, cord, yarn, leather, satin, almost anything can be used to create a fabulous kumihimo piece. Be sure to test your fiber for stretching. It isn’t fun to create a piece thinking it will be one length only to find out when pulled, it multiplies in size. For example, we tried braiding a ribbon made of 26% nylon, 74% polyester, only to find our careful calculations for a seven inch bracelet turned into a ten inch bracelet when completed due to stretching. If you use a heavy weight with your creation, as you braid it, you will notice it get skinnier and longer. We found that 100% polyester works best. Stay away from anything with nylon in it. Satin cord and most yarns work well without stretching. If your fiber stretches before you make the piece, it will definitely stretch when completed and unfortunately it doesn’t shrink back to the smaller size.

View our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

Friendship bracelets, is the effort worth the price?

2 Nov

Today we researched making friendship bracelets to accompany our kumihimo bracelets. We really like the look of variations in stacked bracelets. First we needed the material and most tutorials say to use cotton pearl thread, or more commonly known as crochet thread, size five. So we purchased about twenty colors from $1.29 to $1.69 each and a book for $15.95. The instructions state to use several colors per bracelet. Then we researched the technique for each pattern. After about an hour of research we began to knot the friendship bracelet. We will readily admit that we were intimidated that the descriptions for most of the friendship bracelet tutorials were accompanied by either a picture of a child or the words “children’s activity”. It didn’t seem like a children’s activity to us. After about another hour and a quarter inch of bracelet, we decided to run to the local five and dime store to see what mass produced friendship bracelets were selling for. As you can see from the picture you can buy a pretty nice looking friendship bracelet for anywhere from $2.95 to $6.95 (depending on the material used). That was our big aha moment. No more friendship bracelet making for us. We still like the idea of stacking Kumihimo and corded bracelets, we just need to find summer camp attendees to make our friendship bracelets…haha!

You can view our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

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