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Workshop: Introduction to Kumihimo with Giovanna Imperia

  • October 13, 2018
  • October 14, 2018
  • 2 sessions
  • October 13, 2018, 1:00 PM 5:00 PM
  • October 14, 2018, 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
  • Textiles West 6545 N. Academy Colorado Springs, CO
  • 7


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Textiles West is excited to offer this unique workshop with Kumihimo expert Giovanna Imperia from Houston TX. Giovanna has been exploring and pushing the boundaries of Kumihimo since 2008, traveling the world to source unique materials for her incredible art.

Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braiding technique dating back to the fifth century. It is most commonly associated with samurai armors and swords, as well as women’s kimono (obijime). Contemporary applications range from the traditional to new applications such as jewelry, garments and accessories.
While braiding is present in many cultures, the Japanese tradition is differentiated by the fact that artisans utilize a variety of stands designed to help execute high quality braids fast and consistently. Today is also possible to do kumihimo braids on a foam disk or a square plate. The ones we offer have been designed by Makiko Tada and are produced in Japan by Hamanaka. They travel well and are very economical.

In this one and a half -day workshop students will learn to braid on the marudai by learning these basic set of moves. Time permitting, students will also be able to explore how the basic structure used to create a braid can be expanded by adding groups of threads (e.g. from 8 groups to 16) while repeating the same set of moves over and over.

Many books have been published over several decades on Kumihimo, and most of them have documented a number of patterns for the marudai (round stand) – some dating back to the middle age.
Despite the fact that hundreds of patterns have been documented, all these patterns relay on a finite set of moves that can be grouped into two broad categories:
1) Interlacements occur when threads pass over the center hole in the marudai
2) Interlacement occurs when threads move around the edge of the mirror.
Different patterns are created either by repeating the same set of moves, or by mixing moves -- for instance, going through the cener with some threads, and going around the edge of the Maru Dai/disk with other threads.
Supply List:
  • chopstick
  • Cotton floss or other smooth inexpensive yarn in two highly contrasting color. Textiles West will have some available for student use
-Traditional Tools to bring if you have access to them:
    1. -Marudai – if you have one or can borrow one.
    2. -8 to 16 tama (bobbins) – 70gr or more
    3. -appropriate counterweight, small bag for the counterweight and a S hook
Material Fee: $25 includes use of teacher's disk loom and bobbins.

Class Level: Fascination – These classes will introduce you to a new skill, concept or technique and are open to all levels. The student may, however, be required to have a basic skill or have taken a certification class. For example, for a flat-pattern drafting class one need not know anything about flat-pattern drafting but should have a basic understanding of the sewing machine. Any prerequisites will be listed in the class description.
Member: $125
Non-Member: $140

Teacher Bio:  Giovanna Imperia

I have always been interested in fiber as a creative medium, and my creative work has been focused on the tactile and organic nature of fiber and related materials.  The work I have done during the years has been pushing the boundaries of the expected definition of body adornment and 3D objects.  This has often been accomplished by actively involving the user through the concept of “transformation” – the idea of actively engaging the user with shaping and transforming the art piece.  Thus making the user part of the creative process.

Throughout this exploration I became interested in materials that would allow me to push the boundaries of texture and three-dimensionality.  This search took me first to wire and then other materials such as active yarns and plastics. Giovanna Imperia Designs was established in Houston in 2008 as a small offshoot of my textile design work – a place where other textile artists could find the unusual materials I have been using.  

web site: http://giovannaimperia.com/

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