Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tutorial - Wire Wrapping Kumihimo Ends - Rerun!

Since Bead Fest is in a mere few days, I am rerunning this popular post! When I posted my necklace design with Jenny's Component of the Month, I used kumihimo braid.  I made 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 brain end without having to use an end cap!


  1. I have done something similar for viking weave ends too - especially since I made the necklace out of copper and at that time copper bead caps/cones were fairly scarce.

    I would also dab a spot of jewelers glue on the ends and bit of wire 3rd photo from the bottom.

    But VERY clever and I am sharing this post with my other kumihimo fan friends!

  2. So great looking. A fabulous way of ending kumihimo handcrafted & gorgeous! So much nicer than using commercial endcaps. Thank you, Sue.


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