Kumihimo Braid Making
Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands.
Kumihimo cord was first created by a form of finger-loop braiding. Later tools such as the Marudai and the Takadai were employed to make more complex braids in shorter time. The most prominent historical use of the cords were by Samurai as both a functional and decorative way to lace their lamellar armor, and that of their horses' armor (barding). Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori jackets and obijimes, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).
A modern kumihimo disk made of firm but flexible foam plastic with notches can also be used as a portable marudai. The disks have 32 notches that create the tension that is usually created by tama on a marudai. The disks are convenient, but are not as versatile as the marudai. On a marudai, any thickness or amount of string can be used, but on a disk, only less than 32 strand braids can be made. Also, on a marudai, you can make many types of braids, such as flat, four sided, and hollow. There are also rectangular foam cards, especially suitable for making flat braids.