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Braids in history

New trends

Kumihimo groups

Engineering application

Each presentation comprises 15-minute talk and 5-minute discussion using PowerPoint or equivalent slide-show software.


A PC with a Windows XP/Vista and a Macintosh OS X are available.
Number of pixel of the projector in the Center Hall is 1024 x 768 (XGA)

Media of your PowerPoint file

•USB flash memory (recommended)
•Transfer via Internet using e-mail (less than 2MB),free file transfer service (less than 100 MB) (recommended).

No other media is acceptable.

Kumihimo Groups

Chairperson: Michael Hattori

Learning Kumihimo in the West:†Challenges and Opportunities

Rod Byatt


Learning kumihimo in Japan and in the West are clearly different experiences: who teaches, what one learns, how one learns, access to traditional equipment and yarn are all points of differentiation from the traditional Japanese braiding apprenticeship. In particular, critical issues include the dynamics of face-to-face instruction, self-paced learning, learning forums, the role of the sensei, non-traditional yarns and homemade braiding stands, hardcopy publication and online instruction, the role important contextual knowledge - history, geography, textile culture of Japan - plays for the Western kumist. The response of Western kumists to traditional function and form and the impact of the Western craft/art/design paradigm on personal kumihimo practice are also explored, as is the position of kumihimo amid the wants and needs of discrete Western textile communities: weavers and craft practitioners, the historical re-creationist movement,†academic art/craft/design environments and†Asian textile research, collecting and exhibiting and preoccupations with commercial commodification and historical narrative.
Kumihomo Embellish Costumes of the Miao People in Guizhou, China

Tomoko Torimaru


China, a multiracial nation comprised of 56 distinct races, has a total population that numbers more than 1.3 billion people (approx. 92% Han race; 8% other minority races). The Miao is one of the races in China.Guizhou province, located in the country's southwestern region, is home to seventeen races including Han, Miao, Buyi, Tong, Yi, Shui, Hui, Yao.
It is believed that in ancient times, the Miao first lived in the Huanghe basin, then migrated through the Changjiang basin to Hunan province before eventually settling in Guizhou.There is a saying ”When you meet one hundred Miao people, you will see one hundred types of traditional costumes.” The Miao are spread all across Guizhou province with each geographical area having its own distinctive style of traditional textiles.
Kumihomo embellish costumes is one of the representative of the Miao's traditional costume. The Miao produce very fine and colorful braids used in embroidery to create complex patterns and unique 3-D effects to embellish their costumes. I will show you Kumihomo embellish costumes of the Miao people, and explain production process and technology of it.
Loop Braiding Groups in Japan Yasuyuki Kawata


Still now the surprise when I experienced the loop braiding for the first time is crisp. The yarns (which were put on fingers) were coming and going over the both hands resulting in a beautiful braid. Instantaneously, I became enslaved of the loop braiding. I decided to teach it to many people because I would like to share the impression that I experienced with many people. I think that workshops are effective for everyone in making their braiding environments better ones. Because many of the participants of the workshop became a braiding enthusiast making it possible to utilize it in their subsequent lives. I would like to emphasize the importance of the loop braiding workshop on the basis of several workshops held in Japan.
Assomption Sash Michelle Beauvais


The braiding off-loom of this magnificently coloured very wide sash is unique in North America. The French term "fleche" has been adopted in textile terminology and is solidly establish in Quebec and the English term "Arrow sash" establish in all around Canada, but the definition remains vague. The terms "fleche", "Arrow sash" or "Voyageur sash" are generally used to designate both the braided off-loom (a domestic industry between 1826 and 1885 or around) technique for the traditional arrowhead sashes formerly made in the Assomption area and the fabric produced using this technique.
The problem lies in the fact that "fleche" in Quebec is unquestionably made from a basic diagonal ribbed structure (the chevron or V shape), to which is added a links applied at very specific places; the colour effects are obtained through use of specific structural adaptations. Has a result, the term suggests that this construction is particular to Quebec culture.
However, fragments of this same textile construction - single layer flat braiding - were found during recent archaeological excavations in Mi'kmaq First Nations gravesites in the Maritime provinces of Canada - from an era well before the period of contact with Europeans.
This leads to distinguishing the difference between a braided (an arrowhead sash ) and a woven one produce probably in Coventry in England around 1885 or a contemporary woven "fleche" sash. These are two separate categories in term of fabric-making processes - in fact they are completely independent.
Despite not being an historian, I can agree with others that the study of ancient textiles cannot help bound up with the history of "fleche" (making braided arrow-design sashes) and that such study necessarily involves the archaeology of textiles. While such research is naturally specialized, it is particularly valuable when talking about a product and a “perishable” concept, like the classification of textiles in history.