Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Braiding
The Art of Kumihimo
BY Jacqui Carey

Search Press
February 18, 2020/ ISBN 9781782218050
How-To Books / Yarncraft

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Originally published back in 1997 (and titled Beginner’s Guide to Braiding – The Craft of Kumihimo) this is the definitive book on the subject, at least in the UK. I still have my much-used copy, which introduced me to the wonderful world of “narrow wares” that can be made on a traditional marudai.

Fast forward to 2020, and many people do this craft on handheld disk marudai, but this book deals with the type that sits on the floor and (in my opinion at least) is a lot easier to master.

The book opens with what you need to begin, showing photographs of the wooden type, the acrylic version that I use, and even a homemade marudai constructed from a lampshade frame and card disk. You will also require bobbins, weights and a few other items, which can all be purchased from the website below. Learn how to wind the bobbins, set up the marudai, and get started on your first braid with the aid of plenty of captioned photographs.

This book is aimed at the beginner and is pretty foolproof. I followed the instructions and was making professional-looking braids on my first day. Make round, square and flat braids, add simple tassels and work in other types of yarn. Note that this book only deals with making the braids, with two pages at the back showing what can be done with them. Finishing them off and using them for tiebacks, jewelry, embroidery, etc., are dealt with in other books or by having a go. It is not difficult to learn how to make braids using a traditional marudai, and this book has the clearest, most user friendly instructions I have seen. Highly recommended.

If you cannot find a good range of materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

Marudais, bobbins, threads etc available from the author’s website

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020