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  Bling Braided Wire (Kumihimo Flat Braid with Crystals)

 
By: Leslie Rogalski
Techniques: Kumihimo 
Skill Level: Advanced
Materials: 
•Beadalon Kumihimo Disk square
•Beadalon .015 beading wire
•22 g Artistic Wire
•Bead Fix adhesive squares
•52-58 size 4mm Swarovski crystals 
•2 end cones 7/8" long with openings large enough to enclose the fold over crimp
• 2 fold over crimp ends with loops
• Magnetic clasp set 
Tools: 
• Wire snips
• Round nose pliers
• Flat nose or chain nose pliers
• Bead Stopper

Follow the instructions included with the loom for a 6 strand braid. This project makes a finished length of 7.5" including a 2.5" span of clasp and end cones.



: DWBLINGBRAIDEDWIRE
­

Instructions
 

TIPS

•Pay attention! It is challenging to pick up a missed stitch, and may require starting over especially as a beginner.

•Keep the wires secure in their slots to prevent dropping a stitch

•Keep tension taut throughout your braid. 

•Clamp the end coming through the center slot with a Bead Stopper to use as a handle for proper tension.

•Make a braid slightly longer than your desired length.  It’s easier to shorten if too long rather than add length once the piece is removed from the loom.

 

Kumihimo TIP

Braid two sequences without adding beads to allow a flat section to pull into an end cone or use with other clasp finishing techniques. This unbeaded braid of wires will eventually be secured with the Bead Fix and trimmed to fit into your end cone. 

Adding Crystals or Beads Along the Outer Edges

•Crystals are strung one by one as needed; they are not pre-strung.

•Crystals are added along both sides of the flat braid: when moving from CB to 9 on the right-hand side of the loom, and when moving from B to CB on the left-hand side of the loom. Use this chant to remember: Add a crystal moving up, add a crystal moving over. In other words, add a crystal at the end of each sequence when moving a wire up from CB to 9, and add a crystal when moving over from B to CB.

•Start the new sequence moving 4 to B, and repeat the basic braid adding crystals when moving from CB to 9 on the right-hand side of the loom, and when moving from B to CB from the left to the right side of the loom.


When to Stop Braiding

The total length of the bracelet braid section must leave allowance space for end cones and clasp. Example: for 7.5" total bracelet including 2.5" of cones and clasp, braid 2 sequences without crystals, 5" of braid with crystals, and another two sequences without crystals. Excess wire ends will be trimmed. 

Finish the Ends

Cut a Bead Fix square in half. Remove the backing and fold the sticky side completely around the end of the braid.  Press firmly. Use a flat or chain nose pliers to further flatten and secure the bond. Trim the ends to fit into the fold over crimp. Insert the taped end into a fold over crimp close to the crystals.Use pliers to close the crimp firmly. Use a 22g piece of wire to make a small simple wrapped loop through the fold over crimp loop. Feed the long wire end through an end cone. Pull the cone down to hide the crimp. String 1 clasp loop on the long wire protruding from the end cone. Make a wire wrapped loop pulling the cone snug to the braid, hiding the fold over crimp. Repeat to finish the other end of the braid.

 

VARIATION IDEAS

For a more substantial braid, use 2 wires in each slot. Remember to string crystals on BOTH wires in each stitch when using doubled wires. Make it more eye catching with a braid 8 or 10 strands wide.


Kumihimo Braiding Disc: Creating a Flat Braid

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