What is Kumihimo?

くみひも

A search for the meaning of the word “Kumihimo” will produce many results:

Braided Cord, Plaited Cords, Coming Together of Threads, Gathering of Threads, Intersected Threads, etc…

Kumihimo is traditional Japanese braiding. The ancient art dates back well over 1300 years. The early history of Kumihimo is difficult to study due to the perishable nature of braid materials and the secrecy of braiding techniques. Braid patterns were not published until about 400 years ago.

 

Throughout Japanese history Kumihimo braids have been used in many ways. Buddhism brought braiding to Japan and was used to clothing and ceremonies. Later Kumihimo braids were highly utilized in Samurai armor and weaponry as well as with Kimono wearing.

 

In recent history we have seen a resurgence in the art with the invention, by Makiko Tada, of the foam Kumihimo disk and plate.