Braiding Supplies

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What to use

The current traditional Japanese kumihimo is made using 150/3 silk yarns. A rayon substitute called biron is also often used. That said, however, just about any yarn or thread (or fibre or even wire) can be braided. What you want to use is up to you.

Silk versus ...

Silk has been called the queen of fibres. It is beautiful, wonderful to touch, dyes well, is washable, shiny, etc. It is also relatively expensive. That's why there's rayon, a cellulose based silk substitute. Silk, like spidersilk, is famous for it's strength. Rayon is not, although it is very shiny, slippery, and also dyes well.

Even all silk is not the same. There is reeled silk, a composed of long continuous filaments which can be spun or just loosely twisted, versus spun silk, which uses shorter filaments spun into a thread like most other yarns. Anecdotal evidence suggests that "official" kumihimo thread is more durable and suited to the task (tassel ends don't fray and fuzz out like other silks might do).

Stands, looms and whatnot

This sentiment applies to your kumihimo "loom" as well. A wooden Maru Dai with lead weighted Tama (wood spools to hold the silk) can be purchased from many sources. Or you could get a cheap stool and drill a hole in it. Or construct a Maru Dai out of cardboard or wood. Or just use a single piece of cardboard with slots in it. Or...

Many braiding techniques can be accomplished in the hand, or with a handy fixed point (like a doorknob or bedpost) to tie one end of your work to, but Japanese and Korean braids are best worked on stands (or looms, tables, stools). Experimentation and sampling of these braids can be done on cards, but for that wonderfully even effect, a loom with weighted bobbins will be what you want eventually.

Where to buy

Pre-cut/pre-packaged "official" kumihimo silk & biron(rayon)

Uncut silk

Other silk and ...

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- - ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Thread by companies: Kreinik various silks, metallics and novelty threads Marathon, Winnipeg, MB, Canada affordable rayon for machine embroidery Madeira Rayon rayon sewing thread Sulky Rayon rayon sewing thread Susi Rayon loosely twisted rayon "filament" thread YLI designer 6 rayon (loosely twisted rayon "filament" thread) selection of silks Gudebrod beading silk and various other fibre offerings

Creation Date: Tue Sep 16 11:40:56 PDT 2003
Last Modified: Monday, 18-Apr-2016 04:22:54 UTC
Page accessed at local time: Wednesday, 17-Apr-2024 11:51:47 UTC