International Guild of Knot Tyers

Kumihimo- Japanese Silk Braiding Techniques by Catherine Martin

Kumihimo- Japanese Silk Braiding Techniques by Catherine Martin

Lark Books, U.S 1991 ISBN 9780937274590

This is an unusual book by an artistic Englishwoman who lived in Japan for 4 years where she studied and graduated from the most prestigious school of braiding by hand the beautifully patterned ropes and cords traditionally used for bags and banners, garments of dancer and priest, even securing a Samurai warrior’s armour. Simple looms are used. Warping (and dyeing, only if you wish it) is an essential preliminary. It’s a finer version of Ashley’s solid sinnets at least 1,200 years old. While assuring us of the absorbing pleasure and tranquillity to be experienced in this creative pastime, she is an effective instructress who spells out clearly fast how to do it all. We are then given 12 examples of real traditional Japanese braids to make and use. For those of us striving to fit several lifetimes into one, this soft-covered book (realistically priced) will provide yet another splendid pursuit.