bookmark_borderBut what do you use it for?

Most of the braiding I do is either for practice or for making medallion cords. People are always asking me at SCA events what historical Japanese used kumihimo for. Here is a list of things I know about, but I am sure there are more:

  • Armor construction and attachments
  • Sageo and suspension cords for swords
  • Suspension and fastening cords for banners and scrolls
  • Garment embellishments such as:
    • kotsuyu (little knots) on hitatare
    • sodetsyu (sleeve cords) on hitatare, suikan, or kariginu
    • tasuke cords for tying sleeves back
    • munahimo (chest ties) on hitatare
    • hirao sash on sokutai sugata [early hirao were wide karakumi]
  • Fastening cords for hats such as kanmuri and tate eboshi
  • Cords for manmaku (indoor curtains)
  • Cords for boxes small {bako} and large {karabitsu}
  • Cords for marking pottery before firing [the grandparent]

I should probably write up that outline as a research paper with pictures. Let’s see how long that takes me. Probably at least ten years.