Friday, 16 May 2014

Braiding Shorter Lengths of Horsehair

Making a smaller kumihimo disc

In my last post I spoke about trying to work with some horsehair which had been kept in a bag for years. It needed a lot of nursing back to a condition where it could be used for braiding. Eventually it was ready.

If you have braided using kumihimo or if you have looked at some of the photos on this blog, you will know that there is a length of hair that cannot be braided, due to the size of the kumihimo loom and the strands needing to be held in place. What's the solution? Make a smaller loom.

I have a couple of very well used kumihimo looms or discs. So I took one of them and started to work on making it a much smaller disc.

After finding something of a similar size to the disc I wanted to make I marked the area then cut the shape out of the old disc.

Notches were cut to hold the hair in place.

The  new, smaller disc is about 9 cm or 3.5 inches in diameter. Ideal for braiding short lengths of horsehair where every millimeter counts. 

Not only was the hair short, it needed to be handled carefully due to age and condition. The braid on the loom is a 16 warp (with 5 hairs per warp) braid. The plan is to produce several short braids to bring together in a necklace. This is going to be quite a challenge and is a step beyond anything I have done so far. But the braid and the small loom are working well. 

Using a smaller disc is of course quite tricky. You need to concentrate and work the moves in short bursts to avoid making a mistake. 

In this last photo you can compare the original size disc with the newer, small one. The braid too is much shorter than you would want to make ordinarily, but if short is all you have, this is one option you can use.

In future blog posts there will be more ideas for using short bits of precious horsehair, so you can keep happy memories close by in the form of something of quality you can make and wear.

To read part two of this item click here Part 2

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