Beads Baubles and Jewels – Kumihimo with Leather


I’m here with author and instructor Jill Wiseman,
expert at Kumihimo, you make it seem so simple and you have a great idea for using leather,
I love these bracelets. Leather gives it a slightly different look, a lot of times you’re
seeing kumihimo done with various fibers like yarns and fuzzy things and braiding threads,
the leather gives it a more 3 dimensional look, it creates an open weave so that you
can see that the interior is hollow and I just think it’s kind of a cool, different
look. Oh definitely I think it’s great. The weave that I wanted to show us today is also
a step beyond the basic round braid that most people start learning Kumihimo with, in this
case to get a more thick braid we’re going to use 16 cords instead of 8 cords. And that
gives us this great thickness, it can also be done with 8 cords but the 16 is where you
really see the hollow interior. So it doesn’t need to be intimidating, what you’re gonna
do is cut your leather 3 times what you want your finished project to be, so if you were
making a 7 inch bracelet you’d cut your leather 21 inches for each cord. In this case we’ve
got 16 cords, now that would make a really big overhand knot, using 16 cords of leather
so instead of cutting 16, I’m gonna cut 8 cords at double the length. Ok, and fold it
in half. And fold it in half, and that’s what I’ve done here is I’ve placed them on my loom,
they cross over in the middle here and then I just tied a little bit of a piece of beading
cord around the center to keep it centered We don’t even, since we’re making a bracelet,
we don’t even have to deal with bobbins, we can just let these hang loose. The cords are
placed equidistant from each other around the disc, you want to use 2 colors to start
out with, it’s much easier to see what’s going on I lead with one color going into a dot
and then I follow with the second color. You’re going to have to kinda create a dot halfway
between the 4 that are already on your loom. In this particular case it is important to
know where your top is, and so what I like to do, this is a cheap little foam loom, take
a pen, draw an arrow, now you know where your top is. Great! When we get working on this
it’s a very simple set of moves that we’ll be doing. You’re going to take the, you’re
going to start working with all one color, so in this case we’ll be working with the
white color. You’ll take the left cord on the top and move it to the first open position
next to the next white cord, you’ll take the middle and move it to the next open position,
you’ll take the middle, you’re crossing over one, and taking it to the next open position.
Middle, cross over one, take the middle, cross over one, take the middle, cross over one.
And you just keep going around until you get back to the top, your very last middle will
come right back next to the arrow where the top was. Ok, so that’s why it’s important
to have your marking there. Exactly so you’ll know where to stop. At this point we have
to do what I call resetting the loom, now these cords are not sitting right next to
each other anymore, so we’re gonna make them sit next to each other. Which means we can
keep going in the same clockwise direction around the loom, and we’re going to move those
white cords so that they’re sitting right next to the black cords and that gets us right
back to where we were when we started. The last half of this is now we have to reverse,
and go counter-clockwise, and do the same thing with the black cord. So we’re crossing
over, first open position, take the middle, cross over, take the middle, cross over, and
you’ll work your way all the way around, to the top. You just keep doing this same thing
over and over again, but you can actually add beads to this. It makes it a little stiffer,
so might just want to do it as a center focal piece when you’re adding the beads. Like you
did on this bracelet here. Exactly, and the way you would do that is you’re going to pick
one of your colors, I would take, in this case, the white cord and pick up 1 seed bead,
this has a size 3 seed bead, it has nice big hole and it’ll fit over the leather. And then
you’re still gonna create your same set of moves, that you would normally, and you would
just pick up a bead every time on that round. Ok, on the white cords only? On the white
cords only, yeah, and when you reverse and do the black cords you don’t worry about beads
at all. Ok, so you could use that as an accent, how do you measure when you’re getting close
to the middle, is that when you would start adding the beads? Exactly, you have to kinda
know where you’re going for your measurement and then you can work off that, of how much
you want your center focal to be and then to add to the braid. So when you’re done,
you’re gonna end up with something that looks like this and by not using that big overhand
knot we have this nice, what I call a clean end/start, I’ve already finished off one end
of this but we’ll finish this off together. This, I’ve already taken the liberty of taking
a beading thread and binding the end, it’s just gonna be a temporary measure to hold
it until the glue takes care of everything else, we’ll cut the leather right above that
cord, that binding. Ok, so you wanna make sure that you tie it fairly tight? Fairly
tight, so it doesn’t completely unravel. Exactly, it’s a sad moment when that happens, not that
it’s ever happened to me. Right… Hey, I’ve learned some of the best tips from making
those kinds of mistakes. Exactly, so true, so I like to use an industrial strength glue
here, and this can be a little toxic so you might want to use gloves if you’re chemically
sensitive. I prefer the toddler method, and then I’m just going to get glue around the
cord, around the binding. I take a little piece of beading wire, and poke it right through
the center of the braid, pull those ends up, then you’ll take the endcap and string that
over the 2 beading wires here. Now this is the one little tricky part, you have to work
this end cap over all of these cords of leather, and one of the things I’ve found that helps
is to twist it a little bit, and get it on down there. After you’ve done that you’re
gonna take a bead to kind of stopper the end of the end cap, then you’ll string a crimp
on after the bead, and then you would string your clasp on, and finish it like normal.
Back through the crimp and the seed bead. Great. And then just crimp it down. And then,
you do want to wait about 24 hours for the glue to dry completely before you start wearing
it out dancing. Yeah, you don’t want to lose your necklace or bracelet. It would be sad,
it really would. Well, let’s take another look at these finished pieces because they’re
just so beautiful. Thanks. This is a great technique and what a great way to finish it
with beads in the center. Absolutely, and just because I did it as a bracelet, you certainly
can make it longer and make it a necklace too.

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