How do I add beads?

Profile Image for Jacqueline B. Jacqueline
  • Sat, Dec 12, 2009 2:12 PM

I am a beader and have just discovered Kumihimo and love it but I would like to incorporate beads in it.  What is the best way of doing this?

Replies to this Topic

I use size 8 seed beads. for a bracelet, I use about 40 beads on each thread(I use C-Lon thread). Do an inch or two without the beads. Then as you move a thread, drop a bead. Make sure the next thread movement holds the previous bead in place. A good book to use is Necklaces Braided on the Kumihimo Disk by Karne DeSousa. Page 16 talks about braiding with beads. But if you want to use several different color beads, use the color patterns chart on page 10. And as with anything, try doing your own combinations with it. Hope this helps. Kathie

Profile Image for Cynthia S. Cynthia
  • Mon, Mar 8, 2010 12:22 AM

Hi Kathie!

Thanks for sharing this info. I looked for the book you mention at the local library it wasn't available but I found  Japanese braiding : the craft of Kumihimo / Jacqui Carey and it's beautiful!!!


Edited Mon, Mar 8, 2010 12:36 AM

I learned kumihimo with tuff cord (or C-lon) where you add beads - I cut my cords and then add seed beads to the each cord, I braid about 1/8" of an inch when I start and also when you end. When it is time to add your beads, drop one at a is easy to accidently let 2 drop, so be careful.

You can use all the same color or different seeds on your cords. I recommend Miyuki Japanese beads because they are more uniform in shape. I prefer 8/0 seeds...but it looks awesome with 11/0 (very tiny though) and also 6/0 seed beads. A must is a split needle..I do have a bead spinner, but just can't get the hang of it. Hope that helps.

hi Cindy, how do you get the size 11/0 seed beads to work, I tried this and it was a mess and wasted so much time and c-lon, thanks.

Hi Teri -I have only used size 11/0 a couple of times because they are so small, they are take too much time for me to string. I can't seem to use a bead spinner - so use a split needle (I prefer the longer one) and hand string each of the cords - truthfully I prefer 8/0 seed beads - to me they are the right size, not too big and not too small. One thing to remember if you are using 11/0 seed beads - your c-lon or tuff cord should be a #1 and not a #3 which would be too thick to get the 11/0 beads down the needle. I hope that helps. Cindy



I string my seed beads by putting a little pile on my bead mat and just run my needle through the pile.  You'd be surprised at how many little beads hop on your needle.  I use my one hand to kind of cup the pile and just keep running my needle through the pile.  I don't use delicas for kumi's because the holes are smaller and with your thread doubled back over the needle it can be tight going through the hole.

I have done that also Marsha - running my needle through the pile of beads, but sometimes a bead (I almost always use a size 8/0) will get stuck and I have to take the bead(s) off - so I usually put 3 or 4 on, slide them down and continue on. I usually use Miyuki beads - is that the same as delicas?



Miyuki beads are delicas.  I always use delicas when doing any other stitch, peyote, brick, etc.  But when doing Kumi I use regular seed beads.  The holes are bigger and you can eliminate the "weird" beads has you string them.  You won't notice the irregularities of the beads so much in Kumi.

Hmm, I usually don't have any problems using Miyuki beads (I do prefer the 8/0's and using a split needle) - like I said once and awhile I will find a seed bead that won't go down the needle but on the whole (knock wood) it goes smoothly - just time consuming. I don't know if there is a big difference outside of the shape of a KumiLoom or a round loom - I used the round disk although a few weeks ago I did buy a Marudai - I haven't had too much time to "play" with it, but with the little I tried, I love it -the wt. part is a tad confusing for me.

Check out:


With size 8's you you might not have to much of a problem. I have used size 8 delicas before.  My reason for using regular seed beads is that it allows me to use a thicker thread which gives nice body to the braid and prevents the twist you get to a braid if your thread is to thin for the beads.

I really need to try regular beads - so far I have used delica's and magatama's - I was going to try a size 4mm swarovski pearl but it was too hard to load, I might try a 6mm pearl and see if that works.  It can drive me crazy when the cord twists however it does help with those plastic cases? to roll th cord up. I haven't tried using beads with fiber yet because I use the c-lon or tuff cord more than I kumihimo with fiber, that will be the step step.

Hi all, is there a special technique when using long magatama beads to get them to fall in the same direction so you get the leaf pattern?

Hi, there are some great how to videos on You tube, but basically you string your beads on how ever many warps you want, I string them all so that project is all beads and no cord showing.  Do an inch or so with just the cord, then when you are ready to drop the beads, do it one at a time making sure the bead is tucked under the warp you will cross. makes beauitful jewelry.  us size 8/0 seed beads, they are the easiest

I have done kumihimo with magatama's - I love the look - the last couple I made I only did a very small collar (I don't know what else to call it) and then added  a cool chain to finish it off. If I could get some good pictures and learn how to post I would put a few samples up.

If you want to have the magatamas lay in the same direction, make sure you put your needle through them going through the bead in same direction everytime.  You can see if they are laying right on your string because they will look uniform and point in the same direction.  If you string them randomly you will get a spiky look which is nice also.

You can use size 6 seed beads also.  They come in beautiful colors.



I am a new Kumihimo addict! I would love to know how to make the edge bead bracelets and necklaces if someone could guide me please? 

Do you string beads on all warps or a chosen few?

Would love a reply. 

Thank you


Hi Ramya, I don't know if this will help but if you go to this website you can buy a kit for edge bead necklace - I'm sure you can make it into a bracelet instead. I haven't tried a kumiimo edge beaded project yet, but this might help.

I just found this kumihimo videos page - I cked out about 5 or 6 of them - some were just a person doing "their own thing", but some of the video's I thought were excellent - I hope to find some time today to check out the others. hope you enjoy.

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