Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tutorial: Wire Wrapping Kumihimo Braid Ends

When I posted my necklace design with Jenny's Component of the Month, I used kumihimo braid.  I make a thin braid with C-lon and didn't want to use a bulky end cap, so I decided to figure out how to wire wrap the ends.  Some people were interested in seeing a tutorial on how to do this, so here it is!  The one I made for the piece was a messy wrap - here I'm going to demonstrate a fairly neat wrap!


This tutorial is really similar to any wire wrapping you would do with ball chain, rhinestone chain, or any material that doesn't have a clear and viable loop.

Materials Needed:  Kumihimo braid, 6-8" patinated copper wire

Tools Needed:  Two pair chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, embroidery scissors

Here is the braid and the wire.  I think I used 22 gauge wire - it needs to be strong enough to hold your cord, but workable too!

 Slide your wire into the middle of the braid - make sure that you get it in between strands of the cord, because that will be important to hold your work.  Here you should have a sort piece of wire at the top (maybe 2 inches total), and a longer piece at the bottom for more wraps.

 Make a bend in your wire so you basically have a loop.  Here you can really see where I inserted the wire.
 Take your chain nose pliers and grasp the cord and wire - make sure that the pliers are in between the two sides of wire.
 Hold the cord and wire tightly with the chain nose pliers - use your second pair to start wire wrapping the cord.  If you want it neat, make sure you get the wraps as close together as possible.  You can also use your fingers to do this step - this will result in a more messy wrap.

 Keep wrapping until you're happy with the length of the wrap.  You can use the chain nose pliers to tighten up the wrap and make the loops closer together.
 Next, cut off the braided cord above the loop you made initially with the wire using embroidery scissors.  You can tidy this step up later.

 With the round nose pliers, make a wrapped loop with the top section of wire.
 Wrap the short end of wire down to meet the other wraps you already made - again, it's up to you how many wraps you wish to make.
 Here's your finished wire wrapped end.  Not really too hard!  I would use my thread burner to just tidy up the little pieces of braid that stick out through the wrap.  You can finish your wire any way you want - I like to hammer the loop to give it some strength and character, the way Deryn Mentock does. 

And there you have it - another way to finish a kumi braid end without having to use an end cap!  This is also published over at Art Jewelry Elements Blog today!

6 comments:

KayzKreationz said...

Thanks so much. I have a Kumihimo braid that I've never finished because I couldn't find end caps big enough for the yarn and thread I used to make it. This will make a great finish to it.

Karen Larko said...

This is so great! Thank you for sharing!

snowy said...

Can you make less wraps and put cone?

Paula, Chief Bead Officer said...

What a great tutorial, Sue! I think I am going to whip out my kumi supplies and give it a try this week-end. I hated having to mess with end caps and this is a great solution. Add it to the pages for your book!

Laura Plack said...

Hi Sue! My name is Laura, and I am the editor of AllFreeJewelryMaking.com, a free resource for jewelry tutorials. This a great kumihimo braid tutorial, and we would love to feature this project and others like it on our site. If you are interested, please submit this project here: http://www.allfreejewelrymaking.com/index.php/hct/Submit-Pattern

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