Kumihimo Silk & Akoya Pearl Jewelry
What is Kumihimo?
Kumihimo is a braiding process that was introduced in Japan as far back as the 6th century. It is an intricate process which uses multiple strands of fine silk to create round, flat or square cords in various patterns and colors. It is versatile and strong and lends a unique pop of color to any outfit. Staying true to our vintage origins we have combined this traditional weaving style with vintage pearls to create an old world, yet completely modern style of jewelry.
Kumihimo has been practiced for thousands of years and was commonly used in tea ceremonies, temples and as a cord to tie together samurai armor or wrap katana (Japanese sword) handles. It is also still used as a decorative tie called an obijime to hold the belt of the kimono in place.
Braided Silk & Vintage Pearl Jewelry
As with the invention of modern manufacturing most kumihimo is now mass-produced utilizing inferior thread. Nylon or polyester is often chosen over silk. While this art is no longer as popular as it once was, there are still highly skilled and dedicated artisans practicing the ancient weaving techniques. All of our strands are crafted from 100% natural high-quality silk which is hand braided in Kanazawa, Japan. Each kumihimo strand is custom created for us and nothing is mass-produced.
Our kumihimo pearl jewelry is a take on modern vintage design. We repurpose stunning vintage Japanese saltwater Akoya pearls and newly braided kumihimo silk cord. Each pearl is hand selected from our stock set in solid 14K solid gold or sterling silver and paired with the most complimentary kumihimo braid for the style. No two designs are ever identical. The braiding style we use is the 8-strand or "edo-uchi himo" which is chosen for its strength and delicate appearance.
Caring For Kumihimo Silk
As with most fine jewelry special care should be taken with silk and pearl jewelry. These are both natural materials and can be damaged by perfume, sweat, dirt or other factors encountered with every day wear.
Silk is susceptible to water, salt and chlorine and should never be worn in the shower, pool or ocean. If it becomes dirty, a light cleaning is all it needs. Prepare a small bowl of warm water and a very small amount of delicate dish soap and gently rub the cord, avoiding the pearl. Never place your silk or pearl jewelry in commercial jewelry cleaner. If the metal becomes tarnished overtime apply a very small amount of white tooth paste to a cotton swab and gently rub the metal.
If the cord ever breaks, comes unraveled, or comes unattached from the ends Contact Us and we would be happy to repair or replace it free of charge.