Kumihimo cord and silk braids evolved around 550 AD into ties for kimonos and were used by Samurai warriors to decorate and fasten their armor. The intricate designs of the braids showed warrior status. Today, the same technique is used for making colorful friendship bracelets. It is not difficult to master if you use the aid of a friendship wheel, which is also called a Kumihimo disc. The intention is not to show how well you fight, but how much you care for a friend, by giving her a handmade bracelet.
Line up the strings out in front of you. Nine lengths are for the background color; six lengths are for the petals; one length is for the flower center.
Pick up the strings by the ends and tie them in a knot. Separate strings at the knot into two equal sections of eight strings and insert a pencil between them snugly under the knot. Tie the two bunches together under the pencil twice, forming another knot. Slide the pencil out from the strings, observing that you have made a loop to tie your bracelet.
Put the knotted end of the strings into the center hole of the friendship wheel to mount them on the disc. Separate two of the background color strings from the rest. Slip one into the notch numbered 1 and the other into notch 2.
Separate two petal strings and place one in notch 5 and the other in notch 6.
Find your center color string and place it in notch 9. Place a petal color in notch 10. Skip two notches and place a petal color in notch 13, and a background string in notch 14. Skip two more notches
Place background strings in notches 17 and 18. Skip two more notches and place two more background strings in notches 21 and 22.
Skip two more notches and place a background color in notch 25 and a petal color in number 26. Skip two more notches and place the last background color in number 29 and the last petal color in number 30.
Rotate the wheel so that the number 1 is at the top. Unhook the string from slot number 1, and rehook it in slot 16. Take the string out of slot 18 and put it in slot 32. Rotate the wheel counterclockwise so that the next group of two strings is now at the top.
Unhook the right string on the top and place it to the right of the strings on the bottom. Take the left string on the bottom and place it to the left of the single string on the top. Turn the wheel counter clockwise to the next set of two strings.
Repeat this pattern until there are only 4 inches of string left. Unhook all of the strings. Bunch them together and tie them in a knot.