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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Felted Bracelets, Etc.

From Felt

This was based on the project the felt study group had last month. Once again I didn’t have the wires exposed at both ends. This time I did, however, wrap the fibers rather than roll them and the bracelet turned out much nicer. I also cut a longer piece of wire to make a multiple wrap bracelet. Gave some thought to embellishing but really like it the way it is.

From Felt

Made another cuff. This was was lined and embellished. Was disappointed the adhesive interfacing didn’t stick as it should have and so was forced to use some fabric glue. Perhaps I’ll just continue to make cuffs without a stiff lining (ultra suede) and consider just a simple fabric lining or no lining at all. Do like the way the embroidery turned out.

From Surface Design

As my eco printing takes a very long time to process (I have 3 bundles happily fermenting), it seems as though I’ll have plenty of time to work on my other interests. Although I may try some sun and cold processing. Those techniques don’t take quite as long for the results to be seen.

Kumihimo Bangles

Just finished these bangles. Originally they were to be connected to each other with a copper wrap. As it turned out, they were too big for me to do that (they have a very large core inside). To wrap around all three I would have needed to forge a copper wrap about 6 inches long. That was a bit much for my skill level and my equipment. So, I limited myself to a copper wrap on each bangle.

Individually, they work just fine (although the underwrap on one of them could have been a bit wider). These bangles are made with very interesting cotton yarns I got from Habu Textiles.

From Kumihimo

While I was cleaning up some of my kumihimo supplies, I came across another bangle that I hadn’t completed. Found some matching yarn for the wrap and finished that. This bangle is made with Gelli yarn (plastic) and wire.

From Kumihimo