Introducing Kumachi, a new concept that honours an ancient Japanese weaving technique and harnesses luxury, craft, mindfulness and sustainability into one beautiful product.
Its name derives from two Japanese words, ‘kumi’ meaning ‘coming together’ and ‘hachi’ meaning ‘eight’, signifying the entwining of eight cords. This soothing, satisfying practice frees the mind and celebrates infinite creativity, allowing you to weave your own magical piece of jewellery from vibrant silk and gold chain.
The beauty of Kumachi is that you can craft something totally unique. Each colour of silk thread provides enough length to make three different versions of your bracelet and gives you 32 different colour combinations to choose from.
Inspired by Japanese zen gardens, Kumachi is intended to be a meditative practice. The 10-minute glass sand timer included in the kit will help you take time away from technology – whether you use it for timing each stage of your Kumachi or for your morning yoga.
It’s up to you! Each one of our pre-made bracelets is woven in Covent Garden by our talented female apprentices.
Your Kumachi Kit contains:
x1 Kumachi weaving wheel
x4 silk cords, 2m per colour
x1 18 carat gold chain, 24 inches
x1 18 carat gold clasp
x1 10-minute sand timer
x1 scroll with instructions
You will need:
1. There are 4 colours of silk cord with enough
per colour for 3 lengths. Choose 3 lengths of silk
cord for your bracelet. This gives you 32 possible
colour combinations to choose from, including the
option of making a bracelet all in one colour.
2. Use three sides of the outside of this box (two
long sides, one short) to measure a length of your silk
cord, which should amount to around 65cm. (See video)
4. Be gentle with your gold chain, if you pull it too
hard it could snap. The silk cord is unbreakable, so it
can be used for increased tension throughout weaving. (See video)
3. As this is a mindful technique, we encourage
you to use your sand timer to take time out of
your day without distractions to carry out your
weaving. The set-up and finishing takes about 10
minutes and the weaving takes 20-30 minutes.
5. If you fancy a break during weaving, make sure
you leave three of your cords pointing downwards,
to easily remember your next step. (See video)
6. Once woven, your Kumachi will feel tight and firm.
After a day of wear, the weave will soften. Your bracelet can get wet. When wet it will seem tight again – but don’t
worry, once dry it will go back to feeling wonderfully soft.
7. If you aren’t happy with how it looks or realise
you’ve made a mistake, you can always unravel it
and start again. Please note once the cords are
cut at the end, you will not be able to use that length of silk
again as it will be too short for the weaving board.
8. You need to ensure your chain finishes equal on each side. Stop and check throughout (see dia. 5 for how to pause, see dia. 8 for how to check the lengths). If you find one length is longer than the other, weave the longer length of the chain more loosely in the following turn and the shorter length tighter, until they start to become equal. (See video)
1 - CORAL
2 - CORAL
3 - CORAL
1 - GREY
2 - WHITE
3 - GREY
1 - TURQUOISE
2 - WHITE
3 - TURQUOISE
1. Choose 3 silk cord colours, cut each one to around 65cm
(see our tips – dia.2). Thread the three silk cords through
the jump ring attached to the clasp, just as the chain is. (See video)
2. The set-up of your Kumachi wheel is key to how
the bracelet will look in terms of colour combinations
(see our tips – dia.1 for set up guidance or our video).
3. Now hold your disc up in front of you so that it’s flat with
the cords and chains hanging down. Adjust them slightly so
that each length of silk and chain is equal on both sides, whilst keeping your clasp in the centre.
Please note the chain is slightly shorter than the silk.
4. Now it’s time to weave. Start by bringing the chain in
notch 1 (top right) down to the right of notch 4 (bottom right).
4a. Then take the silk cord that’s in notch 5
(bottom left) to the left of notch 8 (top left).
4b. Rotate your Kumachi board 90 degrees clockwise.
4c. Now repeat the previous step – take the cord from the
top right to the bottom right. Then take the cord from the
bottom left to the top left and rotate 90 degrees clockwise.
Please note that the numbers on the wheel are a guide for the first
step, however, as you move through the process you just continue
by doing, top right to bottom right etc, through the notches.
We’d love to see your creations! Share them with us on Instagram by tagging us @thealkemistry and using the hashtag #myKumachi.
5. You will begin to see your Kumachi bracelet form.
Weave until you get to the first jump ring. Once you
reach it, stop, remove the silk cord and chain from
the weaving board and put your board away. (See video)
6. To finish the bracelet, pinch with your thumb and finger
around the loose chain and silk cord. Choose the longest
of the loose silk cords and about 0.5cm away from the
jump ring, tightly knot it once around the weave. (See video)
7. Using that same silk cord, loop it tightly approx. seven times in
the direction of the jump ring. (See video). On the eighth loop (or when you reach the jump ring) create another knot around the weave and pull tight. (See video)
8. Use sharp scissors to carefully cut the loose ends
of all silk cords, ensuring not to cut the gold chain. Then
use a small dot of super glue, which won’t be seen,
to close off the silk cord used for the last knot and the end of the other threads. (See video)