Braiding Disk Instructions

Kumihimo tutorials for making round braids on a braiding disk


These pages are freely available instructions for making braids on the kumihimo disk and plate. These are instructions of common generic braids, patterns freely available in Japan. along with Makiko Tada's instructions for which may be found in her book for disk and plate braids.
Text and pictures by None Redmond, a weaver and kumihimo braiding teacher.



Optionally, you can get the materials kit with everything you'll need just below to make a necklace using the reverse spiral braid. You can also use this pattern with your own choice of pendants and threads.

Blue Ribbon Heart Necklace and Earrings Kit

This braid is a reverse spiral braid, which is a variation of the basic spiral braid. It's a wonderful next project after the basic spiral, makes an 18" necklace. Set includes hand blown glass heart and matching glass blown earrings with fish hook wires.

  • pre-cut pearl cotton threads
  • Hand blown glass heart and earrings
  • Complete clasp and instructions
Item # - 141b - $16.95

Reverse Spiral Braid

The Spiral (Kongo) Braid reversed.

By rotating the disk clockwise and changing the threads which are moved the spiral braid or kongo can be reversed in direction. Looking at the first braid made, the direction of the spiral reminds one of the diagonal part of a capital 'Z' and is called the Z spiral. The one made here will have the spiral going in the reverse direction and is the S spiral.

ROUND 1 ("S" direction): Starting with the two brown pairs in the north-south position, the north left thread is moved down to the left of the two brown threads at the south (LEFT upper thread DOWN). Then the brown thread at the south on the right is moved to the north on the right of the remaining brown thread there (RIGHT lower thread UP).
Reverse spiral braid.

This photograph shows the moves completed. Notice that the brown pairs have moved closer to the beige threads and it will be seen that all the threads are moving around the disk just as they did in the Z spiral - only this time it is the other way.

The disk is then rotated clockwise and the red threads are exchanged in the same way.
Reverse spiral braid.

Here the red thread on the left at the north has been moved to the south on the left of the two red threads already there (LEFT upper thread DOWN).

Move the red thread at the south on the right up to the right of the north red thread (RIGHT lower thread UP).
Reverse spiral braid.

Rotate the disk clockwise and the green threads are moved in the same way as shown.
Reverse spiral braid.

Suppose you want to reverse the direction of braiding to create a zig zag. In order to change the direction from the 'S' spiral to the 'Z' the following moves are made. Every right hand thread is moved over its companion before beginning the Z spiral.

ROUND 2 ("Z" direction): Now braid in the "Z" pattern (as shown in the kongo braid). Begin with the threads to the right of the last pair moved.
Reverse spiral braid.

To zig zag back, re-cross all the threads, this time left over right, as shown in the picture to the left. Here is the disk prior to changing from the "Z" spiral to the "S". Now braid in the "S" pattern. Begin braiding with the pair to the left of the last pair moved.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2, changing from "S" to "Z". Keep count how many moves you make in each 'zig' before changing to the 'zag' to keep the zig zag even.
Reverse spiral braid.

Here is the finished braid, showing the zig zag from 'S' to 'Z'.

Click on title below to see the next page:

BRAID 3: a ridged Kongo for a key ring.
Reverse spiral braid finished.