What is Japanese Braids?

What is Japanese braids?

Japanese braids, also known as Kumihimo, are a form of traditional Japanese artistry that involves creating intricate braids and cords. These braids are made by interlacing reels of yarn, typically silk, using specialized looms called marudai or takadai. Kumihimo cords serve various purposes, such as obijime, which are cords worn around the front of an obi when wearing a kimono.

  • Japanese braids, also known as Kumihimo, are a traditional Japanese artform.
  • The braids are created by interlacing reels of silk yarn using specialized looms.
  • Kumihimo cords have historical significance and were used on Buddhist items, Samurai armor, and more.
  • There are different styles and techniques of Kumihimo weaving, resulting in various types of braids.
  • Despite the availability of machine-made options, there is still a demand for hand-braided Kumihimo products.

Types and Techniques of Japanese Braids

Japanese braids encompass a wide range of styles and techniques, each requiring specific tools and resulting in intricate patterns. The art of Kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, has been practiced for centuries and continues to be a celebrated tradition in Japanese culture. From flat braids to rounded cords, there are countless variations that showcase the skill and artistry of Japanese braiders.

To create these beautiful braids, artisans use specialized tools such as the marudai and takadai. The marudai is a circular braiding stand that holds the threads while the braiding takes place. It consists of a top plate, supporting columns, and a weighted counterbalance. The takadai, on the other hand, is a more complex braiding stand that allows for the creation of intricate patterns and designs. These tools, combined with skillful hand movements, produce stunning results.

One of the most well-known types of Japanese braiding is Kumihimo, which is characterized by its flat and simple structure. The braids are created by interlacing threads in a specific pattern, resulting in a tightly woven cord. Another popular technique is Yatsu-dai, which uses eight warps to create more complex and dynamic designs. This technique allows for the incorporation of different colors and textures, resulting in braids that are truly unique.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced braider, exploring the world of Japanese braids is a captivating journey. With countless styles and techniques to choose from, there’s always something new to discover. The intricate patterns and attention to detail make Japanese braids a true work of art, cherished by artisans and enthusiasts alike.

Type of BraidDescription
KumihimoFlat and simple structure, tightly woven cord
Yatsu-daiEight warps for complex and dynamic designs


Japanese braids, with their rich history and intricate craftsmanship, continue to captivate and inspire, making them a timeless art form for both traditional and contemporary purposes. The art of Japanese braiding, also known as Kumihimo, dates back to ancient times and has been passed down through generations.

Kumihimo cords, created by interlacing reels of silk yarn using specialized looms, have served various functions throughout history. They were used for decorative purposes on Buddhist items and scrolls, as well as for lacing Samurai armor and horse armor. The braids ranged from flat to rounded, showcasing the versatility and skill of the weavers.

In modern times, Japanese braids have found a place in the fashion world, adding a touch of elegance to accessories. These braids are beautifully incorporated into hair accessories, such as hair ties, headbands, and hairpieces, enhancing any hairstyle with their intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

For those interested in learning the art of Japanese braiding, there are tutorials available that provide step-by-step instructions on how to create various braiding patterns. These tutorials allow individuals to explore their creativity and create their own unique braided designs.

Whether as a nod to tradition or as a contemporary fashion statement, Japanese braids for hair accessories add a touch of cultural elegance and timeless beauty. The history and artistry behind these braids continue to inspire and fascinate, ensuring their enduring appeal in the world of fashion and craftsmanship.


What is Japanese Braids?

Japanese braids, also known as Kumihimo, are a traditional Japanese artform of making braids and cords. They are created by interlacing reels of yarn, usually silk, using specialized looms called marudai or takadai.

What types and techniques of Japanese Braids are there?

Japanese braids come in various styles and techniques, creating braids that range from flat to rounded. Different tools are used to achieve intricate patterns, resulting in unique and beautiful designs.

What is the history of Japanese Braids?

The history of Japanese braids can be traced back to ancient times, where they were used for decorative purposes on Buddhist items and scrolls. They also played a significant role in Samurai armor, lacing their lamellar armor and horse armor.

Are machine-made braids available, or is hand-braiding still in demand?

While machine-made braids are available, there is still a demand for hand-braided Kumihimo products. The craftsmanship and uniqueness of hand-braided Japanese braids make them highly sought after.

Where can I find resources for learning Japanese braiding techniques?

There are various resources available for learning Japanese braiding techniques. Online tutorials and books offer step-by-step instructions on how to create different braids. Additionally, Japanese braiding can be incorporated into creating hair accessories.

How has Japanese braiding evolved in modern fashion?

Japanese braiding has evolved and is now incorporated into cutting-edge fashion. Designers use Japanese braids to add a touch of traditional elegance to their creations, showcasing the versatility and timelessness of this artform.

How can I use Japanese braids in creating hair accessories?

Japanese braids can be used to create unique and stylish hair accessories. From hair ties and headbands to decorative hair clips, the intricate patterns and vibrant colors of Japanese braids can elevate any hairstyle.

Where can I buy Japanese braids or Kumihimo cords?

There are various online stores and specialty shops where you can purchase Japanese braids or Kumihimo cords. These products come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to find the perfect braid for your project.

Can I incorporate Japanese braids into my own crafting projects?

Absolutely! Japanese braids can be incorporated into various crafting projects. Whether you want to add a touch of elegance to a garment or create unique jewelry pieces, the versatility of Japanese braids allows for endless creative possibilities.

Are there any cultural significance or symbolism associated with Japanese braids?

Japanese braids hold cultural significance and symbolism. They are often associated with tradition, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. Wearing or using Japanese braids can be a way to honor and celebrate Japanese culture and heritage.

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