Kumihimo – Japanese braidmaking with Jacqui Carey

Ref: S3D33118

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About this course

Develop skills and techniques in Japanese Kumihimo braiding. You will cover the basics of equipment, warp threads, braiding sequences and pattern design, and produce a range of samples and a finished item.

Course Description

Learn all the basic technical skills required for Kumihimo, Japanese braiding, then expand your knowledge to introduce beadwork ideas, so you can combine the two concepts to produce new and original work. This is an introductory course for total beginners and refreshers.

During the course you will cover:

- Equipment – what, why and how?

- Warp threads – what, why and how?

- Working techniques – how to braid and improve your style

- Braiding sequences – a variety of different structured braids and numerous patterns

- Pattern design – how to use the grid system to create your own designs

- Beads – consideration of various types

- Combination techniques – various ways in which beads can be worked with braids

- Design – options and ideas

- Finishing techniques – a range of fancy finishes and joins

The tutor will give an introductory talk on the first evening about what will be covered in the workshop and you can handle samples and look at design ideas.

By the end of the course, you will have produced a range of samples illustrating these points, with an option of producing finished items if desired (usually jewellery).


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Marudai, bobbins, counterbalance weights, weight-bag, chopstick, S-hook, warping posts (see ‘from the tutor’ section below)
  • Plenty of threads – any type and thickness (from fine silk to chunky wool, as well as synthetics and fancy
  • yarns – please bring a good selection, including a range of colours) – some can be bought from the tutor
  • Selection of beads – any type or size (rocailles, bugles, larger beads, pendants, etc.)
  • Beading thread (optional)
  • Beading tray or mat (optional)
  • Footstool/cushion/box – to sit on if kneeling to work, or to rest Marudai on if sitting on chair
  • Comfortable clothing is also recommended – trousers or a full skirt

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Beading and sewing needles
  • Scissors – sharp and suitable for cutting threads
  • A notebook and pen
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor has some equipment for loan, but it must be booked in advance by emailing: [email protected]. Please specify which of the following equipment you need the tutor to bring for you: Marudai, bobbins, counterbalance weights, weightbag, chopstick, s-hook, warping posts or a complete set of equipment.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals. It takes place in an upstairs studio, at the western end of the college building, a lift is available part way, plus two short runs of 4 stairs


Jacqui Carey

Jacqui Carey completed a BA(Hons) degree in woven textiles at WSCAD in 1985, and has been practicing ever since. As a textile specialist and braidmaker, her work acknowledges tradition whilst exploring the creative, and has been widely exhibited. Jacqui is recognised as a leading authority in her field, and shares her expertise through writing and teaching. She is the author of several books andrecipient of a QEST Craft Scholarship.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.