Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kumihimo: an Ancient Art Form

Deciding I need a new twist on my jewelry design, I've discovered an ancient art form that will work very nicely in enhancing my jewelry.

In the early 8th century, when the Buddhist religion spread in Japan, people began to use colorful decorative braids in ceremonies. The making of these beautiful, usually silk, braids became an art, and later, people used colorful braids to decorate their clothing, hang ritual banners, lace samurai armor together, harness their horses, tie robes, and decorate their weapons or sword hilts.

Braids can be found in many cultures, but the Japanese developed the highest order of braiding techniques and complexity....elevating braiding to an elegant art that continues today.

In the past 2 weeks, I've been practicing the art of Kumihimo. The braids can be done with 8 or 16 strands of beautiful fibers & yarns. Thus far, I've only completed the 8 strand technique. Here are several Kumihimo cords I've done in different colors that I plan to hang my pendants on.

See what you think!

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