Kumihimo/ Fiber Cord Making

Kumihimo is the Japanese art of braiding.  Many bead stores carry kumihimo supplies and books.  A similar  product that  appears to be based on Kumihimo is the Diva Fiber Cord Maker.   Last week, while visiting Faith in Lodi, CA,  the local bead shop had one on display, so I was intrigued and bought a package.  Here is what the bag held:


If you are curious about how to use this item, I found a great video on youtube from Houston Market where this product was being demo-ed:

For creative people, the ideas are endless on what to do with this template product!  Substitute fabric strips to make a purse handle, combine beads and fibers as well.  Howabout metal and ribbons?

So , for my review, I decided to try it out.  Here is my first effort using only fibers, combined with a metal textured pendant made in class by Stephanie (yapadoodle):


Then I decided to add some cool beadwork to further embellish the piece:


The colors are not perfect, but you get the idea.

In the samples above, I used 14 different fibers:


Ok, I am hooked!!  I leave you while I dig through my bead, fiber and ribbon stash to find the perfect combination for Stephanie’s pendant.  I spotted her pendant in class, and, as a thank you for helping me, I told her I would make her a cool fiber cord to match.

Hugs, Carla

6 thoughts on “Kumihimo/ Fiber Cord Making

  1. Interesting…where was I? LOL I didn’t even notice you bought this….. and Yes I can see endless possibilities for this ..especially for you and your fiber stash…. I can’t wait to see more of what you create.. I really think the beads added to it give it weight and balance. I would be curious too as you say to see what it does with fine gauge wire or thin leather. GO GIRL!

  2. I will confess to a bit of a meh…OK response to the plain cord and pendant…though the pendant is stunning. The beading that you added is REALLY fabulous….that makes a HUGE difference. LOVE It…as you said, not perfect, but very impressive.

    I agree… the plain one is just so-so. That is why it needs to be jazzed up with the beading. I’m making a second fiber cord tonight, so hopefully this one will be better.

  3. I was already very tempted by Kumihimo & now upon finding Diva it is added to my temptations! How are Kumihimo & Diva different? Also can the fiber ends of your initial necklace be finished off – the same as in jewelry making?

    Hi Kristy, I have both products. The kumihimo appears to be made with a foam core kind of material, and has more spaces for fibers. There is limited space for thicker fibers. Contrast this with the Diva Cord Maker, which is a template plastic, has fewer spaces so it is less confusing and has space for the thicker fibers and beads. I would recommend the Diva one.

    Finishing off is easy… they actually make end caps in various metals. Once I make my length, I knot the end so it won’t unravel. What I did next was E6000 the end and let dry, then wrapped it with wire, pushing one end of the wire through the end cap, then making a loop so the end cap is taut and will not move. Some people add more E6000 to further snug the end cap. All you do to finish is add your closure with jumprings.

    Another option is to sew across the end just in front of the knot- or make a loop, then twist the wire around the loop, add end cap, and follow the directions above. I’m sure there are also more ways to do this so that the end looks professional, but this is how I do it.

    I would love to see pictures if you do this! Take care, Carla

  4. I’m a huge fan of kumihimo and am never without a project going. Now I have an assortment of braids needing end caps. Do you know of any source for end caps that can be bought in larger quantity. I can’t afford the price most websites want for those tiny little findings, not with as many as I need!

    The friend who got me hooked also needs a bunch so we’d be good customers if we can find a good source.

    Hi Christie, try ArtBeads.com and if you have a resale license, be sure to let them know. Otherwise, you get a price break with larger quantities. My other idea is to make your own if you have metal art background. Good luck! Carla

  5. I love kumihimo also but prefer using the disk sold by bead smith. It allows you to use al lot more cords (warps) and you can achieve beautiful patterns. Additionally, Miyuki sells drop beads that look great worked with size 8 beads

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