In Japanese crafts, braids are referred to as "united cords" or Kumihimo. All over the world, craftspeople have braided cords for thousands of years. In Japan, braided cords were not just a decorative craft or a clothing accessory, but a military technology used to fasten weaponry and armor. Several methods of making braids were developed, and dozens of types of braid were created.
Personally, I have been braiding since 2008. I specialize in using the round marudai braiding stand. On average, I've made about one braid a week since then. Some braiding patterns I have aonly tried once, but others I have used to make dozens of braids. I have constructed much of my own equipment.
Most of the braids I've made are constructed of eight strands or fewer. When I want something more challenging or interesting, I'll try a braid with sixteen or twenty-four strands. There are thirty-two strand braids I have yet to try.
View some of my favorites below.
Standard braids of four or eight strands are the meat and potatoes of Kumihimo. They provide a variety of shapes and textures, while being relatively fast braids that are more accessible to beginners.