Kongoh-gumi (Friendship Bracelets)

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Go to original (Java) version of Kongoh-gumi (Friendship Bracelets)

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About the braid

Kongoh gumi braids are probably the first kumihimo braid people come across. This is a Z-spiral kongoh gumi – the Friendship Bracelet kits I have seen come with instructions for making this form, so I tend to think of it as the “normal” form. It is very easy to make this braid on a kumihimo disk (also called a Friendship Wheel).

This braid gives a rectangular area for design which repeats spiralling up the braid (the S-spiral goes round the opposite direction). The braid is round and solid; the Japanese name, Kongoh gumi, means hard round, which is a good description of the braid.

On a kumihimo disk, the movement sequence is very simple (2 thread moves and a turn of the disk repeated) and the flexibility of the design makes it popular for friendship bracelets. This is probably why it is the one we have seen in kits such as the “Friendship Wheel.” We have managed to make a 32 thread version on our disk, but unless you are experienced with making this braid, we recommend that you don’t use more than 24 threads.

We have more information about this braid on our Kongoh Gumi page.

We have some other kongoh-gumi braids available -  the technique is the same, but the groups are different sizes.

How to use the designer

Use the colour picker to choose your thread colour. If you use it on the braid, it will be added to your colour list so you can easily choose it again. Click on the thread you want to colour in the braid diagram.

Some braids allow you to change the number of threads. If available, you can use the "+" and "-" buttons to change the number of threads - active internet connection required.

Examples of this braid can be found in:
  • This braid comes with some kumihimo disk packs and Friendship bracelet kits. It is also found in lots of kumihimo books.
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Comments will be strictly moderated. Only comments about making this braid will be approved.

10 thoughts on “Kongoh-gumi (Friendship Bracelets)

  1. Hello

    I´m trying to design a similar braid (Kongoh-gumi-Friendship Bracelets/flowers) with 24 threads and round kumihimo plate. I used the designer tool without any inconvenience. My problem begins when I start to move the strands between them. I follow this link: http://www.vvprints.com/vvp/braids.html to move the strands and the designer tool of this page to arrange them at the start, but I don’t get the flower pattern!
    I presume the mistake is because I haven’t moved the strands in the correct way, but I don’t know how. I appreciate if yoy can help me.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Carolina, the instructions you are using say it doesn’t matter which direction you turn the disk – that is fine when you have 4 groups of threads like their pattern, but when you have more, you must turn the disk the correct way – in this case anticlockwise. There is a link to instructions (Kongoh Gumi) making the braid and we are planning to add more diagrams soon.

  2. I had the same problem.I didn’t get the pattern I designed. I even watched the video to verify I am turning the same direction.

    • Hi C, if you are having problems with a particular pattern, you are best using our contact form with more information – particularly useful is a link to your design (you can get that from the links above the designer) so I can test it, and a photo of your thread set-up when you start and a couple of moves in may be helpful too.

      General things to check when using a disk: you are turning the disk anticlockwise by one group of threads each time; all the threads are in pairs and you move the top right and bottom left thread each time; the first group you move is the one at the top of the diagram.

  3. Hello! Just wondering if someone (a lil more experienced than me) could help out. My sister in law wants a bracelet but she wants purple crosses on it. (like the religious cross not an +) Does anyone know how to do this and make it look right? The only kind of bracelet I know how to make is the Kongoh-gumi style…. but if there is another type that would work out better for this design I would be willing to learn.
    PS. I have tried upping the strands to 24 and it ends up somewhat okay but I feel it is still too much of a slant to tell it is a cross.
    Thank you to anyone who takes time and replies. :)

  4. If you use a 64 slot disk with 32 strands, you can make a cross 6 strands wide and 4 high. Recently, I bought a 64 slot disk and booklet on EBAY for $7.99 – free shipping and takes about a week. The slots are very close, and they include a place keeper. Use the Kongoh-gumi (Friendship Bracelets) Braid design with the thread count to 32. I will send my design.

  5. Hi, could you please give some information of which kind of thread to use with Kumihimo Kongoh gumi braid? When I do this, using waxed thread, it happens that once the braid is complete, it stretches a few centimeters after a few days of using the bracelet. The design does not get deformed, just the bracelet stretches and it falls off the wrist. This happens with 4, 8 and 16 threads. Thanks you for your feedback

    • I have no experience using waxed threads, so do not know if there is something about your braiding (there will be more stretch in the braid if your tension is loose on a disk).

      I have mostly used regular embroidery floss (e.g. DMC), and although there is often some stretch, not usually too much.

      You could also try pre-stretching the braid before you fit it as a bracelet.

  6. Thanks for putting this pattern maker online – I love it!
    The first couple I made I got really confused because my patterns weren’t coming out – there were always a couple of threads in the wrong place. then I realised that it does matter which thread you move first, and once I started at the top, everything came out fine.

    • Yes, it is very important which thread you start with, and also which direction you turn the disk/go round the groups.
      The starting thread is shown in the instruction diagrams, and also on the more info page.
      Best wishes
      Su

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