Kumihimo, or "gathered threads," is a traditional Japanese way to make braids and cords.
Two different looms of specialized design are used: A takadai loom with sliding parts and a circular marudai loom.
In this fascinating video, an expert Kumihimo craftsperson manually passes bobbins through a takadai loom, using a stick to beat the threads tightly into the braid between passes. Afterwards, they show you how the round marudai loom is used:
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You can learn more about the process at this entry by Japan House, who prepared the exhibition of which the video is a part.
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