Kumihimo Using A Square Disc
After a few years of creating kumihimo braids using a round disc, I decided to throw caution to the wind and experiment with making my braids using this square disc provided to me by the nice folks over at Prima Bead.
While you can make round kumihimo braids using a round disc, you can make both square and flat braids using a square disc. How cool is that! I first saw the square disc being used by Claudia of Mirrix Looms at Bead Fest back in 2012, but being a little slow on the uptake, it’s taken me until now to get around to playing with my square kumihimo disc.
Since the shape of your braid is determined by the setup of your disc, I’ve included photos of both setups here. For braiding material, I chose some yummy brown leather that I’ve had in my stash for the last year or so. (Note to self: order more leather. Like, a lot more.)
To begin, I cut lengths of leather from the spool, and used a scrap of very thin white leather to tie them together in a bundle. (If you don’t have any thin leather floating around, you can use a scrap of beading thread, doubled.)
Next, take the bundle and slip the knot into the kumihimo disc from front to back, so that your cords are on top.
For a square braid, you would set up your cords similar to the way you make a round braid on a round disc, using this pattern:
Note that there are 8 cords, just like you would use for making a round braid on a round disc, and they are spaced relatively evenly around the square kumihimo disc. I placed cords at the fourth slot from each corner of the disc. You can find a great tutorial for making the square kumihimo braid over on the Fire Mountain Gems website.
To make a flat braid, you would set your cords up like this:
These cords were placed in the center 4 slots of the top and bottom of the square disc. To create a flat braid, you can follow the tutorial that I found provided by the Prima Bead company on YouTube.
Beads can be added to any of these leather braids, just the way you would if you were using nylon cord. The leather cord I used for these experiments was pretty thick – about 2mm – but you can also find 1mm leather cord in some lovely colors to use for beaded leather kumihimo. Lightweight, large-hole beads work best for these kumihimo braids, so use your imagination and see what’s hiding in the depths of your bead stash before you start braiding.
There are so many ways to jazz up your kumihimo braiding projects, with beads and without! If you’re looking for some fabulous new projects using all kinds of shaped glass beads, seed beads, chain, and jewelry making findings, you’ll love Elegant Kumihimo: 10 Projects to Braid with Seed, Shaped, and Crystal Beads by Maggie Thompson. These brand-new kumihimo beading projects will have you inspired by the amazing array of colors and beading supplies, and your skills at constructing beaded kumihimo projects will advance with each new project you make. Learn how to add findings, chain, crystal buttons, and handmade lampwork glass beads to your beaded kumihimo projects with these great designs. Best of all, this eBook is ready to download instantly, so you can get started beading and braiding using what you already have right away!
Have you experimented with any new techniques or materials in your kumihimo braiding projects lately? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us about them!