Kyoto Kumihimo Braids

Both twisted cord and simple braided cord were used in everyday life during the Jomon period (ca. 10,000 - ca. 300 B.C). Kyoto braided cord is reported to have appeared in the Heian period (794-1185) but techniques in the making of practical braided cord developed in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) as the use of armor increased. Production of cord for haori, short kimono jackets, started in the Edo period (1600-1868).

Cord has been used for more than a thousand years and has been utilized in every conceivable way at temples and shrines, on clothes, helmets and sword knots. The method of braiding depends upon its use but there upward of 3,500 variations. Since the Meiji period (1868-1926), it has been used for obi ties and accessories.

Feature

Kyo kumihimo have been utilized for more than a thousand years for a variety of different uses including in shrines and temples, for clothes, armors, sword straps, etc. Braiding methods vary according to the intended use and about 3,500 different ones have been counted. Since the Meiji era they have been used for sash band for kimonos called “obijime”.

How to make

The process for making Kyo kumihimo includes preparatory stages such as dividing, twistering (thread-combining) and measuring, as well as other stage like assembling, tufting, steaming, etc. In the course of the important assembling stage, cords are assembled by hand using round looms (marudai), square looms (kakudai), high looms (takadai), kagouchi looms, ayatakedai looms and naikidai looms.

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