Kumihimo – Japanese braidmaking with Jacqui Carey

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: S3D11505

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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
  • Plenty of threads – any type and thickness (from fine silk to chunky wool, as well as synthetics and fancy yarns – 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
  • Notebook and pen
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor has some equipment for loan but it must be booked in advance by emailing the bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk. Please specify which of the following equipment you need her to bring for you:
  • Marudai, bobbins, counterbalance weights, weightbag, chopstick, s-hook, warping posts
  • or a complete set of equipment
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


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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