Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Review : Kumihimo Basics and Beyond

By on Thursday, November 28, 2013 3 Comments

Kumihimo has definitely become very popular in the last couple of years or as many people discover the joys of making cords using this ancient art of Japanese braiding. The appeal must be the easy and rhythmic work. Very soothing!  It is a useful technique to learn so you can create custom cords for necklaces.

I just received Rebecca Combs' book Kumihimo Basics and Beyond for review. Rebecca is an experienced kumihimo jewelry making instructor and the book shows in its thoroughness as she clearly understands the needs of learners.  Her specialty is in the incorporation of beads with the braiding.

It's probably easier to say what the book isn't.  It isn't about different types of braiding. It covers just the most popular type - the spiral braid called the kongo gumi - created with 8 cords on the round foam disk. 

However, where the book stands out is how much it helps braiders introduce colors, patterns and different kinds of beads into the jewelry projects.

The first part of the book concentrates on how to make the basic braid and playing with color. The author does cover the two types of starts - with and without a knot.  The middle part of the book shows how to add different kinds and sizes of beads - seed beads, teardrops, magatama beads etc.

 Rebecca's helpful instructions includes how to use the bead spinner for easy loading.

One great feature of the book is that the kumihimo math has been figured out for readers. The exact number of beads has been predetermined for hassle free braiding!

The best part is left to last. This section covers a number of ways to add pendants.  Shown below is the lovely necklace which features a lark's head knot connection.

The book is perfect for a rank beginner or more experienced braiders who need some help and inspiration to take the craft beyond simple cord braiding. The photographic quality wasn't as good as it could be. Some of the main project pictures weren't as sharp and thus didn't do the designs enough justice.  However, it is a small issue in what is a a good and thorough guide.


Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 



  1. Thanks for the review! I never know if new books on Kumihimo are worth the investment. However, from your review, I would say this one is worth it. I'll be looking for one.

  2. Well Pearl - I've never been particularly interested in this art form, but your review of this book has almost changed my mind.

    So much to try - so little time.....



  3. The book does appeal to those who like the technique and wish to just up the design quotient a bit.

    Aims- it is a good beginner book for sure!