Beads!!!!! > Kumihimo, Cord Making, Braiding, Macrame

Simple home made kumihimo bobbins


Traditional kumihimo bobbins are made from wood with lead centers to provide the necessary weight. We wanted lead-free bobbins, so made these from plastic film canisters.  You will need at least 4 bobbins for simple kumihimo braids, and 8 is better as many different braid patterns are available for 8 bobbins. 
These simple bobbins are inexpensive, lead free, and have the added advantage that the weight of each bobbin can be changed for different braid patterns as needed.

What you need for each bobbin:
1 35 mm film canister
a few cotton balls
a few washers or coins for weights
a piece of string tied to make a loop
some medical tape

The first picture shows the canister with 1-2 cotton balls in the bottom.  The cotton balls keep the weights from shifting around.  The medical tape has been wrapped around the canister to provide friction so the string won't slip off.

The second picture shows that the weights are placed inside the canister.  The actual number of weights will change depending on the braid design.  I use a kitchen scale to weigh the bobbin and weights before assembling, adding or subtracting coins until achieving the desired weight.

Put cotton balls on top of the weights to hold them firmly in place within the bobbin. Then put the cap on.

The third picture shows how to wrap the string around the bobbin.  The string was tied to make a loop. 
The length of the string isn't crucial.  As a guide, you want the bobbin to hang a few inches below the kumihimo mirror when the braid is finished.  So the string should be long enough to reach from the edge of the hole in the center of the mirror to just below the mirror after the bobbin is assembled.
The string  is passed around the bobbin and back through the loop.  The last picture shows the string cinched up tight around the bobbin. You can see in this picture the function of the tape. Since the canister is rather slippery, the tape is used to keep the cinched string from slipping off while braiding.

In another post I will show how to attach your warp threads to the bobbin cord.

Film canisters? From what century?

From the last century!
If you don't know what a 35 mm film canister is, or can't find such antiques, I guess you could try using small pill bottles. 


--- Quote from: lithicbeads on December 06, 2014, 08:39:28 PM ---Film canisters? From what century?

--- End quote ---

This is cool, thanks for sharing this idea.

I won't tell you what I used to keep in my film canister...


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