Sunday, September 8, 2013


Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese form of braiding. Traditionally it uses a maraudi to create the braids. The braids date back to the age of the Samurai, 8000 BC, and were used to embellish the Samurai's clothing.

What is not commonly know is that about the same time in history a similar form of braiding was developed in Peru. In Peru the braids were used for practical means such as water carriers and to attach packs to animals.

I do not use a maraudi to make my kumihimo braids. I use a foam disk which I can carry around with me. I also use beads instead of just fibers. I use just round seed beads as seen in this bracelet:

I have also used a variety of shaped seed beads as seen in this necklace:

What I am most excited about though, is my new series of kumihimo necklaces using Czech glass. The different shapes of Czech glass give completely different looks to the necklace. Even the same shapes give totally different looks to a necklace. For example these two necklaces use Czech drops but the lavender necklace is totally different from the burgundy and teal necklace.

My favorite, however, is this leaf kumihimo necklace:

Visit my shop to see more kumihimo designs and look for more new Czech glass kumihimo necklaces to be added in the near future.


  1. Fascinating, Val - I had no idea about the Peruvian version of kumihimo! Love all your designs, especially the lavender one. I've not tried beaded kumihimo, but I am currently battling with a horsehair version!!!

    1. Thank you Erika. The lavender one looks even better in person. Doing Kumihimo with fibers makes beautiful necklaces or fabric embellishments.

  2. I have admired those Kumihimo items in your shop, Val. That green leaf necklace does have a lovely texture.

  3. Val! Those necklaces are amazing. I am going to see them now! What does the foam disc look like?
    Great article and photos!

  4. Hi Norah, The foam disk is round with 32 notches in it to allow eight strands to be braided around it.

  5. Val, You know I like Kumihimo also, it's very addicting and I love the different designs you can make. I like you that you use different sizes of beads, gorgeous jewelry.

  6. Thanks for sharing your beautiful designs & their history!

  7. This is such a beautiful and fascinating technique and your information is so interesting. Thank you for sharing.