Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tutorial: Wire Wrapping Kumihimo Ends

When I posted my necklace design with Jenny's Component of the Month, I used kumihimo braid.  I make a thin braid with C-lon and didn't want to use a bulky end cap, so I decided to figure out how to wire wrap the ends.  Some people were interested in seeing a tutorial on how to do this, so here it is!  The one I made for the piece was a messy wrap - here I'm going to demonstrate a fairly neat wrap!

This tutorial is really similar to any wire wrapping you would do with ball chain, rhinestone chain, or any material that doesn't have a clear and viable loop.

Materials Needed:  Kumihimo braid, 6-8" patinated copper wire

Tools Needed:  Two pair chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, wire cutters, embroidery scissors

Here is the braid and the wire.  I think I used 22 gauge wire - it needs to be strong enough to hold your cord, but workable too!

 Slide your wire into the middle of the braid - make sure that you get it in between strands of the cord, because that will be important to hold your work.  Here you should have a sort piece of wire at the top (maybe 2 inches total), and a longer piece at the bottom for more wraps.

 Make a bend in your wire so you basically have a loop.  Here you can really see where I inserted the wire.
 Take your chain nose pliers and grasp the cord and wire - make sure that the pliers are in between the two sides of wire.
 Hold the cord and wire tightly with the chain nose pliers - use your second pair to start wire wrapping the cord.  If you want it neat, make sure you get the wraps as close together as possible.  You can also use your fingers to do this step - this will result in a more messy wrap.

 Keep wrapping until you're happy with the length of the wrap.  You can use the chain nose pliers to tighten up the wrap and make the loops closer together.
 Next, cut off the braided cord above the loop you made initially with the wire using embroidery scissors.  You can tidy this step up later.

 With the round nose pliers, make a wrapped loop with the top section of wire.
 Wrap the short end of wire down to meet the other wraps you already made - again, it's up to you how many wraps you wish to make.
 Here's your finished wire wrapped end.  Not really too hard!  I would use my thread burner to just tidy up the little pieces of braid that stick out through the wrap.  You can finish your wire any way you want - I like to hammer the loop to give it some strength and character, the way Deryn Mentock does. 

And there you have it - another way to finish a kumi braid end without having to use an end cap!  I'm going to publish this over at my blog as well!

Susan Kennedy
SueBeads etsy
SueBeads blog


  1. thanks for the tutorial. it was one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments!

  2. Very clever! Thanks for sharing. I'll have to try that if I ever actually finish a kumihimo piece ;-)

  3. Thanks for the tutorial! I once tried to wire wrap a cord at the very end and it didn't hold. Now I know what to do!

  4. I once saw something similar used on a macramé braid, but I think your way is much easier and much more secure - not to mention nice-looking!! Great tutorial!

  5. Sue, you are cool! Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to "Pin" it so I don't lose it!

  6. Cool, Sue!!! I love the braid, too...need to try kumihimo!

  7. I am definitely having a duh moment. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!

  8. So simple! I'm switching to this technique :)


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.