Braid making can be found throughout the world, but as with many other subjects the Japanese braids have a distinctive character of their own. Kumihimo has been an integral part of the Japanese culture for many centuries encompassing both qualities of function and decoration. These braids were used in all walks of life, but notably in the construction of Samurai Armour. The word Kumihimo covers a wide range of braiding techniques using various types of equipment. This book concentrates on Braids made on a Marudai; a simple device that is surprisingly sensitive and versatile. There are many reasons why making Kumihimo is so appealing. The equipment used is aesthetic in both appearance and its tactile qualities. Coupled with this, the braiding process with its gentle, repetitive moves has a calming therapeutic effect on both observer and practitioner. Working different sequences of moves creates a variety of harmonious rhythms, each one producing a specific braid structure. Over 50 structures are explained in this book. Different patterns on these structures can be achieved by rearranging the starting positions of the coloured threads. Examples are shown and the unique drafting system enables the user to design and discover a myriad of other possibilities. Alterations in structure, texture, colour and pattern create an infinite diversity of braids. This enables the braid to be created specific to requirements; be it for the braid alone or to compliment other mediums. This is further illustrated by various design concepts in the final chapter. This gloss laminated, sewn bound book has 100 pages and is illustrated using colour photographs and charts throughout. It has easy to read diagrams of equipment, techniques etc. There is a whole chapter devoted to a variety of braid finishes. The final chapter looks at design ideas and creative effects that can be used to bring this traditional technique into the 21st century. Opening up fascinating possibilities for the world of Textiles; both Fashion and Furnishing and beyond! The simplicity of Kumihimo makes it accessible to all whilst its potential to expand provides endless fascination!
by: Jacqui Carey
Published by: Carey Company