Books and sources of information
On our adventures with kumihimo, we have found a number of books useful. We are not trying to suggest these are the best books for everyone, but they are the ones we have used ourselves.
Jacqui Carey - "Beginners Guide to Braiding: The Craft of Kumihimo", reprinted as "Japanese Braiding, The Art of Kumihimo"
I found this book fairly basic, but a good introduction to Kumihimo. All the information in this book is in Creative Kumihimo (see below), but the presentation is better suited for the beginner.
Jacqui Carey - "Creative Kumihimo"
This is probably the book I have used most so far. Although it can be used by a beginner, "Japanese Brading", above, is easier. There is a suggested "path" for a beginner, but it is not always clear what is essential to get you started, and what is more useful at a later stage. There are techniques given to adapt braids to use more threads, and notes on how some of the braids in the book are related to others. There are also charts in the book for plotting your own colour arrangements
Aiko Sakai - "Illustrated Kumihimo", books 1 and 2
These books are in Japanese, so definitely not for the beginner, unless you can read Japanese. I don't know if it is possible to buy these anymore - I found them in my local library! Most of the patterns are in Makiko Tada's Comprehensive Treatise which is in English and Japanese.
Makiko Tada - "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids I: Marudai Braids"
The text is in English and Japanese. There are a few places where there appears to be more information for the Japanese reader - particularly in the Materials and Equipment section. Although there is basic information on setting up your marudai, it is more a reminder for someone who knows what to do, not a beginner's guide. I have not had time to try many of the braids from this book yet, but I plan to work through them. The wide variety of braids, some of them with similar braiding steps yet different outcomes fascinates me, and I expect to be inspired to experiment as I go along.
I have some other braiding books that are recommended by others, but I have not had the time to use them yet. Once I have taken the time to braid from them, I shall add my comments to this page.
Rodrick Owen - Braids: 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond
Makiko Tada - "Comprehensive Treatise of Braids VI: Kumihimo Disc and Plate"
Helen Deighan - "Beautiful Braiding Made Easy: Using Kumihimo Disks and Plates"