Due to Covid-19 please allow at least 15 working days for your order to arrive.

Please note our warehouse and customer service department will be closed from Monday 29th June until Monday 6th July 2020.

During this time we will not be able to process any orders. To ensure you receive your books before we close please send in your order no later than Thursday 25th June.

Adding item to the basket

× Item added

This item has been added to your basket.

Proceed to checkout
US Flag Australian Flag
Search the site...

Look inside
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 20 January 2020
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781782218050
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 204x260 mm
  • Illustrations: 150
  • Pages: 64
  • RRP: £8.99
Download jacket image

Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Braiding


The art of kumihimo by Jacqui Carey

Add to Basket
Add to Basket
Book Description

Learn the calming, traditional craft of kumihimo Japanese braiding through step-by-step projects.

Kumihimo is the ancient art of Japanese braidmaking; admired for its dual qualities of usefulness and beauty, and associated with both fashion and the samurai.

In this revised and updated edition of her classic instructional book, Jacqui Carey teaches the use of a marudai (round stand) to produce a variety of different types of braids, which can then be used to create countless combinations of colour, texture and material. Clear step-by-step photographs guide the beginner through each of the projects, and many inspirational examples of the variety you can create are shown.

The rhythmic movements, feel and sound of the marudai in use make this traditional craft a soothing, absorbing and aesthetically pleasing experience; perfect for weaving a calm area in your day.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials & equipment 8
Square braid 14
Round braid 26
Flat braid 34
Honeycomb braid 40
Hollow braid 46
Rounded flat braid 54
Using your braids 62
Index 64

About the Author

About Jacqui Carey

Jacqui Carey has specialised in Kumihimo since completing her B.A. Honours Degree at the West Surrey College of Art and Design. She was drawn to the subject through her love of Art and Maths. Based in Devon with her family, Jacqui divides her work time between making, teaching, writing, researching and demonstrating.



Not having come across this art myself, I asked a local craft group to review this book.

The group found the to Japanese braiding provided a clear, easily understood guide to all aspects of equipment, threads, and techniques used to produce a range of both round and flat braids. The illustrations, diagrams and photography were clean, clear and easily followed, as were the written explanations. The book also provided step-by-step instructions that allow users to produce a variety of uses: it brings the ancient craft of Kumihimo within the reach of all those with an interest in learning and developing the techniques in a simple way.

Members of the group particularly liked that each type of braid had a different page background colour and found that the warp circle diagrams were slearer set against a coloured background. Close-up photographs of working the braids were good and you could clearly see where the threads were placed.

Overall the book looked inviting and the layout was streamlined and modern.

Having borrowed some equipment I tried making a braid myself and found it very satisfying to see the work growing under the circle and the beautiful braid it produced.


Originally published back in 1997 (and titled Beginners 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, jewellery, 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 http://www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.

Marudais, bobbins, threads etc available from the authors website https://www.careycompany.com/

Machine Knitting Monthly

Japanese braid-making is admired for its use and beauty. This essential guide shows us different braids, which can be used to create countless combinations of colour, texture and material. 

There are clear step-by-step photos and many inspirational examples of this soothing, absorbing and pleasing craft.


The kumihimo techniques in this book are made using a beautiful marudai stand, and lovers of kumihimo will find the story of them quite fascinating.

I do not have a marudai stand, but I did make a braid project using a more modern plate.

This is a brilliant book for beginners, as it guides you through the steps in an easy to understand step by step technique. The projects are simple but stunning, and include bracelets, necklaces and ties.

Each project can be adapted in size, and I loved the rich tonal colours that were used for each piece.

Beads, ribbons and cords are perfect for these designs, but finer threads can be used to make smaller items.

The instructions are accompanied by superb photography, demonstrating each step

Add to Basket Printer friendly version

Customers who bought Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Braiding, also bought...

Needle Felting for Beginners

Needle Felting for Beginners

By Roz Dace & Judy Balchin

A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo

A Beginner's Guide to Kumihimo

By Donna McKean-Smith

Macramé for the Modern Home

Macramé for the Modern Home

By Isabella Strambio

50 Beaded Bracelets

50 Beaded Bracelets

By Tammy Honaman

Also by this author:

This site uses cookies, if you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. Click here to learn how to change your cookie settings.