Question: I can't use the braiding tools - wasn't there a Java version before?

We used to have Java versions of the braiding apps and a Java plait designer. Changes to Java mean that these won't work anymore. The Javascript versions are much better, and will work in any modern browser. Some people are stuck with older versions of Internet Explorer because of their version of Windows - but you can still use a better browser like Chrome or Firefox.

Question: I am using Internet Explorer on Windows XP, and the tools don't work. Any idea why?

The newest version of IE that works on Windows XP is IE 8. When we started making these tools it had a significant market share, and we put extra work into making sure the tools worked with it. Since IE8 is now 6 years old, we have decided to stop supporting it. We don't expect you to update your operating system to use our site, but you can use a better browser for free - try Chrome or Firefox.

Question: I can't print my Kumihimo design

Some browsers will print the design out quite easily, others won't. We have tried to make sure that there is a print button that works for all browsers, but due to the number of different browser, operating system and java combinations out there, we can't test every one. If it isn't working for you, please Contact Us, letting us know what browser you are using, how you are trying to print (browser menu or a button near the design) and what happens when you do. If we know it is broken, we will try and find a way to fix it!

If all else fails, you can print the browser window using a graphics program. On Windows, there is a print screen button (PrtScn) near the top right of your keyboard. If you press "Alt" and "PrtScn" together, you can paste the browser Window into Paint. The same should work on Linux. On a Mac you should get an image file on your desktop if you hold Command and "shift" and "3" at the same time (use "4" instead of "3" to select part of the screen).

Question: How much thread do I need for my braid?

This varies between different braids and also for different braiders. I usually use around twice the length of thread for the length of braid I want. Many of the braids need all the threads to be the same length, but sometimes certain threads need to be longer. If I have estimated this for my own braiding, I will try and make a note of it with the braid instructions. For a shorter braid, the finishings take up a greater proportion of the thread used, so make allowance for that. The best thing is to try it with the type of thread you want to use, and see what happens for your braiding.

Question: How do I set up the disk for a kongoh gumi braid when there are more than 20 threads?

There aren't enough slots to have gaps between all the thread pairs. As long as you make sure you have a gap around the 2 starting groups (top and bottom), this gap will move around the disk and you will always have a gap for your threads to move into.

Question: How can I make a 32 thread kongoh-gumi braid (from "kumihimo designer") on a 32 slot disk?

Although I usually do this on a marudai, I have done it on a kumihimo disk. I made a video to show how I do it

Question: What is a marudai, and can I use Marudai Painter if I don't have one?

A marudai is a type of Japanese braiding loom, traditionally wooden, typically used to make round braids, but also other polygons and narrow flat braids. If you want to try marudai braids without buying your own marudai, you can mimic one by placing a kumihimo disk, or cardboard circle on some sort of stand - but don't use the slots! This allows two hands to work the threads, and gives a nice flow to the work. The braid passes through the central hole so the support must be hollow, ideally allowing the braid to be visible from the side.

Don't put the threads in the slots - the threads should be wound around weighted bobbins, and this gives some of the tension. When I first tried, I was using 3 strands of DMC embroidery thread on lace bobbins. It wasn't ideal, but worked well enough to give me a feel for it. Aim for 35g (3oz) per bobbin if you are using 6-strand embroidery thread or similar, and you should be ok. The braid itself should also be attached to a counterweight, typically half the total weight of the bobbins.

Some of the braids shown in marudai painter can be made on a kumihimo disk or plate. We have started working out instructions for making our braids on a disk. You can change between marudai and disk patterns (where available) by clicking on buttons in the Marudai Painter app. If there are no instructions for a disk, you can try it yourself, but you may need to adjust the positions of threads to make space for the threads being moved.

Question: What is a jpeg and how do I know if I have one?

There are a number of different file types for pictures, and the most common for photos is a jpeg. Some cameras use different formats. Normally a jpeg image file will have the letters ".jpg" or ".jpeg" at the end. If you have file extensions turned off in Windows, selecting the file should give you this information.

Question: How can I make sure my photo has the right file size?

Most photos straight from a camera will be too large. We don't accept them because they take up too much space on the webserver, take too long to upload (and may fail after a long wait for you) and take too long to download when others want to look at them. Most cameras will come with software that will allow you to do this, otherwise, I have used IrfanView in the past.

Question: How can I support

CraftDesignOnline becomes more successful as it is used more. To support CraftDesignOnline, use the site and enjoy it. Tell people about it. Help us improve by contributing to our galleries, and send us feedback if you have any problems or suggestions. Thanks for thinking about us!

Question: How can I get an account on Craft Design Online?

At the moment, accounts are only used to allow people to save and access designs they have made using our Pattern Grid tool. If you choose the "Save to My Patterns" option from Pattern Grid, you will be offered the opportunity to create an account (or log-in if you already have one).

Question: Why was my pattern not published?

You can request that patterns you make are published in our gallery. We check all patterns before adding them to the gallery, but this means that sometimes patterns are not published. Reasons that we might not publish a pattern include: if we think there might be copyrighted material in the pattern; if we think the pattern might not be suitable for children to view. There may be other reasons in the future, but fortunately so far there have been very few occasions where we've had cause to worry about a pattern.

Question: Where did you get the colour names for the DMC?

DMC have produced a table with suggested names for their embroidery floss. This is apparently collected from names used by designers and although DMC publish it, it does not seem to be official. They also have a table that matches embroidery floss codes with tapestry wool codes along with the colour names. A few of these were obviously wrong - we have tried to identify these and give a suitable name. If you have spotted something that we have missed, please let us know so we can correct it.

Do you have another question that isn't included here? Contact us and we'll try to help you.