Kyo KumihimoKyoto Kumihimo Braids

By living of Jomon period, it is easy twist rihimoya; crossed, and string was used.
We are informed beginning of Kyo Kumihimo with the Heian era. It increases the Kamakura era begins, and to use for arms, and is practical; crossed, and technique of the making of string developed. Haori strings came to be mass-produced in the Edo era.

Both twisted cord and simple braided cord were used in everyday life during the Jomon period (ca. 10,000 - ca. 300 B.C). Kyoto braided cord is reported to have appeared in the Heian period (794-1185) but techniques in the making of practical braided cord developed in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) as the use of armor increased. Production of cord for haori, short kimono jackets, started in the Edo period (1600-1868).

Cord has been used for more than a thousand years and has been utilized in every conceivable way at temples and shrines, on clothes, helmets and sword knots. The method of braiding depends upon its use but there upward of 3,500 variations. Since the Meiji period (1868-1926), it has been used for obi ties and accessories.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Thread dyeing is thing by "deadline dyeing" or "ombre dyeing" "no dyed goods in the local area".

    Use circle stand, corner stand, hill, kagodadai, colorful bamboo stick stand or ancient court secretary stand to build.

    When you use hill or colorful bamboo stick stand, use "spatula" for "implantation".

    When begin to make group design using hill, thing by "cat's cradle."

    When you use kagodadai, assume braid to use twisted thread which did "dampening a sheet of paper".

    Raw materials

    Assume thread to use raw silk, dupion silk or silk thread, cotton yarn having materials which are equal to these or gilt thread or silver thread.

  • Work scenery

    It is informed that Kyo Kumihimo begins in the Heian era and is doing the production center formation in the Edo era. We cross string in circle stand from the Edo era, corner stand, hill, colorful bamboo stick stand, groups stand such as kagodadai using silk thread, gold silver thread and produce products with elegant flavor cultivated by culture of Kyoto. Silk thread finished dyeing beautifully, ray ray cross and bring on texture and taste peculiar to string. It is technique that has been succeeded to ceaselessly from ancient times. The characteristic is seen in elegant tasteful style cultivated by culture of Kyoto. Sword knots of shrines and temples, outfitting, obi cord, armor helmet, sword are used for various points, and how to compose that accepted use amounts to 3,500 kinds now.
    We introduce big flow of process of Kyo Kumihimo here.

    Process 1: Thread percent (mind) ri

    Thread is work that journalizing kicks silk thread that breaking is necessary as much as it is necessary. We weigh thread and distribute current several minutes of string which we are going to make by the weight. Thread used here is done with raw silk, dupion silk or silk thread, cotton yarn, gilt thread, silver thread having materials which are equal to these.

    Process 2: Dyeing

    Is going to make with process of dyeing; cross, and, along design of string, finish dyeing in colorings evenly faithfully. We express the light and shade and depth of color while repeating this work to modify compounding of dye, and to soak thread into. We perform expression of shading off depending on design. As this is minute work to need mastery of skills, part of this dyeing is provided for outside order by specialized dyer.

    Process 3: Filature () ri

    We break thread and wind reeled thread which we dyed off on small frame (scared) in planing (zaku) ri, filature.

    Process 4: Pass; shaku (heijaku)

    We pass and pass through thread performed filature of by shaku process more and wind off on shaku frame. We pass, and periphery of shaku frame is 4 shakus (120.12cm) and fixes necessary length and number to build while closing obi, and turning half, frame of length 8 shaku (240.24cm) to need to one.

    Process 5: Twist

    Write thread which passes, and added weight and the length of the thread at shaku rather than eight sheets thread plying machine and give a twist using car.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 6: Build

    We build beautiful braid by each group stand and group airplane producing. Braid is divided into three kinds of circle braid, corner braid, flat braid when we greatly classify. As general today, group stand has characteristic each, in group stand, four kinds of hill use properly depending on kind of braid circle stand, corner stand, colorful bamboo stick stand.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 7: Finish

    Built string is sent to process of finish to begin to bunch charge account of both points. Understand thread by hand (untie), and bind bunch eyes together with thread well one by one, bunch with steam of hot water step back and is fixed. Finally we roll and prepare cross with stand, and we close obi of beautiful flat group, and it is ga completion.


  • Close-up

    Kyo Kumihimo which builds picture scroll of ancient city 1,000 years

    We cross, and the history of string is old so that straw-rope patterned pottery can follow the origin. Kyo Kumihimo gained popularity as industrial art object in the Heian era and was spent for various uses as accessories which colored life of nobles. It is conjugated by decoration of arms, string of gods and Buddha tool and is used habitually as petty people such as obi cords in Japanese dress afterwards from mei*.


    Craftsman spirit inheriting tradition for parent and child two generations

    Crossed until father of Ooka died at 87 years old since 14 years old, and walked solely for string; cross; string craftsman. It was master craftsman who handled circle stand, corner stand, hill, colorful bamboo stick stand and four group stands freely. "I helped with work of father since it was small, but was thinking seriously when I crossed and did not want to become only string craftsman." Such Ooka decides at the age of 26 years old to cross at last, and to make string work of life. Thereafter, as the beginning, we make full use of four kinds of groups stand and cross hill using and, for 40 several years, continue protecting tradition of string from charges of father in at home the second-floor studio.

    Studio of "we cross string Ooka" where there is taste of Machiya of Kyoto

    Challenge to design which is new while inheriting tradition

    We cross, and, as for the string, it may be said that human being is one of two first handicrafts which we were able to create by hand. Many in treasure of Shoso-in; cross, and string is seen, but basics to cross string are not strange at all with old days. We arranged four basic patterns of Korai (kourai) group, Silla (shiragi) group, Tang Class group, Nara and we applied every each time and developed.
    Work called "we describe intricate design" (ayagaki) before crossing, and entering process of string general Ooka being the most fun. In other words, it is what kind of planning and design whether cross, and make string. It is opportunity of arm of craftsman that we decide whether you make dye, design, which how to compose from thinness of thread. One fascinating string is born from brief memo drawn on small notebook. Of course elaborate polish is repeated before we decide color and pattern that we liked. When reported, interwove Ginkaku-ji Temple with thread of platinum; is expensive; crossed, and string was hung on hill.

    Work to wind thread off on small frame (is scared) with kasekuri machine

    Grow flexibly, and it belongs to gradually shrink; the essence of string

    We had you show trunk string of armor (armor) of carapace of a turtle how to tie a stiff obi design that Ooka was restored. It is important cultural property called string which armor which Kiyomasa Kato gave to Ieyasu Tokugawa 400 years ago had. Because genuine article performed dyeing with vegetable dyes of silk thread and built, we died with the times and crumbled. Ooka was restored to the original state in reference to several centimeters of strings which were slightly left. When the touch of solid cross comes when we hold in hand and puts up with edge of string, we stand with pin. We draw curve flexibly when we wind around wrist and comply with health. "It is really good does not lose strength even if we cross and use string 50 years. Elasticity to grow, and to be shortened is the essence of hand braid. We are familiar with just body so as to use if we use." We had a feeling that something like magical power to have of string was gradually handed down to hand.

    Ooka (it is said that 100 years pass) who goes on hill which we inherited from father, and works

    "We cross all day long string experience course" which is popular among school excursion students

    We observed shrines and temples Buddhist temple, and it is school excursion in Kyoto, but course experiencing Traditional Craft of ancient city is incorporated recently, and it is pleased so far by students. As leave studio open, and Ooka who is Master of Traditional Crafts teaches kindly directly, even the first person is excellent in approximately two hours; cross, and obi cord of string is completed. When girl student said saying "after all coming-of-age ceremony wants to wear kimono because we made obi cord by oneself with much effort though we were going to have clothes.", we had eyes to be kind, and Ooka said that we were really glad.

    Handle several threads skillfully, and is beautiful; cross, and string is finished

    Craftsman profile

    Nobushige Ooka (those we seem to pat)

    It was born in 1937.
    We release at home the second-floor studio and teach to tourist and school excursion life carefully. One obi cord form for approximately two hours and we finish and on the day can take to go
    Reference crosses; string Ooka /075-462-8427

    Nobushige Ooka (those we seem to pat) who crosses in "corner stand" (whether you write), and makes string


    We are devoted to one nameless craftsman throughout the life

    "String for ceremony of the Emperor Heisei enthronement" which Ooka restored. Three kinds of sacred treasures are, we make piping of cross to put "mirror, comma-shaped bead, sword" on, and mission of string originally "binds together". We can carry out mission of string as supporting role for the first time by linking something becoming the leading role. It is signed the name, but, as for obi and the kimono by industrial arts person, the name of author can say to obi cord and string that we will never put the name of author even if we put true heart and produce so much. Ooka is old; when cross, and the reconstruction of string was asked for, is when may admire accuracy of arm of old craftsman. In late years the reconstruction of string of piping of cross to put three kinds of sacred treasures on was asked for and, at the time of the Emperor Heisei enthronement, produced. Saying "I intend to give all techniques not to be ashamed of person of coming ages as one nameless craftsman throughout the life,." craftsman soul is father yuzurinoyodesu.

    In studio, we cross until 87 years old, and live father, photograph of Shuhei Ooka (ookasyuhei) him watch solely for string



Industrial art object name Kyo Kumihimo
Phonetic symbol Cross today; string
Classification of industrial art object Other textiles
Main product Obi cord for decoration in Japanese dress, haori string (string), Japanese and Western accessories
Main production area Kyoto / Kyoto-shi, Uji-shi
The designation date December 15, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Kyo Kumihimo industry cooperative association
462-4, Shinhakusuimarucho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
TEL: 075-441-6755
FAX: 075-411-3778

■Associated exhibit space, facility


They cross, and string is used for more than 1,000 years, and Shinto shrine and temple, clothes, armor helmet, sword knot of sword are used for every thing. There is how to compose depending on use, and the number amounts to 3,500 kinds. We have been used as obi cord of petty person in Japanese dress after the Meiji era.

Kyo kumihimo have been utilized for more than a thousand years for a variety of different uses including in shrines and temples, for clothes, armors, sword straps, etc. Braiding methods vary according to the intended use and about 3,500 different ones have been counted. Since the Meiji era they have been used for sash band for kimonos called “obijime”.

How to make

We break thread and align thread, and we pass, and Kyo Kumihimo is finished after preparations processes such as shakus, group process, processes such as bunch charge account, steaming. By group process that is main processes, it is built using circle stand, corner stand, hill, kagodadai, colorful bamboo stick stand, ancient court secretary stand by manual labor.

The process for making Kyo kumihimo includes preparatory stages such as dividing, twistering (thread-combining) and measuring, as well as other stage like assembling, tufting, steaming, etc. In the course of the important assembling stage, cords are assembled by hand using round looms (marudai), square looms (kakudai), high looms (takadai), kagouchi looms, ayatakedai looms and naikidai looms.

Voice from production center

Is old Japanese culture, and, with practical string in the world with a few kinds, is artistic; as cross, and general various places are hard to be accompanied by distinction of string, please consult with various places of supplier.