Kumihimo and Wire

Typically when I use wire for my kumihimo work, I use 20 gauge plated copper. If you are familiar with wire and done any work with it you know that 20 gauge is right on the edge of the readily finger malleable gauges. Getting ‘perfect’ tension with this gauge is always a challenge and you must be ready to show the wire (after acknowledging it superiority) who really is the boss!

On a traditional maru dai shorter lengths can be mastered. For longer pieces, however, the need to readjust the counterweight often leads to unwanted bends in the wires or a misaligned braid and always a few tension issues. A solution presented to our local weaving group a few months ago for another problem led me to my solution. I just needed a much taller mau dai with a few added features and I was on my way.

I am very pleased with the braids shown. The tension in both comes close to rivaling braids of silk.

P.S. These braids are in the Member’s exhibit at the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas (www.weavetexas.org) June 2nd thru June 4th at the Sugar Land Marriott hotel.

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Not to be Forgotten

I have been so busy with my botanical printing I almost forgot a favorite pastime: kumihimo. The last several braids I have done were with wire.

I do love these and the challenges they present. I have some ideas for additional designs but, every now and then it is good to return to the traditional: braiding with silk.

This one is titled ‘Rose’. Ir does remind me of the roses with the deep green leaves and the vibrant deep pink flowers.

So now with the CHT (Contemporary Handweavers of Texas) conference coming up in a year it is time to get started on making more braids to consider for entry into the member’s exhibit. Hope to have both silk and wire for submission.