I have started a new video series on my Youtube channel called 'Kumihimo 101'. I plan to go through everything I know about kumihimo from beginning till end in several different videos, that will hopefully be helpful for any beginners that want to start kumihimo, and even experienced braiders to use for reference. The first video in the series is an introduction to the disks, to help make it easier to know where to start. I also go through some of the different disks that are available, as there are several different ones on the market.
The basic kumihimo disks I recommend to start with is the round and the square disk, as you can make a vast array of different braids, both with and without beads. They are made of foam and have slots along the edges with numbers printed by them to help with the braiding and they measure approximately 15cm. The round and the square disk have different purposes, as the shape of the disk, help with the kind of braid you want to make. The round disk mainly makes round braids, while the square disk mainly makes flat braids, even though this isn't written in stone.
Round kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2DalaXL
Square kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CXvTBK
Over time as you use your disk for braiding, the slots will gradually start to widen, and become less tight. This can affect the type of cord you can use on the disk. If you want to use a thin cord for your braid the slots need to be tighter, so they have a decent tension for making the braid. For that it is best to use a newer disk, until you feel the slots have become looser over time. You can then move on to use that disk for thicker cord, which will still have a decent enough tension. If you use thicker cord on a disk, the slots will widen more quickly, and it will therefore quickly not be suitable for a thinner cord. Therefore I always have a few disks on the go at once, for the different thicknesses of cord.
For some people these disks can be a little large and difficult to use, so therefore you can also get mini versions of both the round and the square disk. They are also ideal for children who want to try kumihimo. They measure approximately 10cm, but have the exact same function as the larger ones, and the same braids can be made with them. The size of the disk does not determine the size of the braid. It is the materials used that determine the size of the braid.
Mini round disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2D6UMPn
Mini square disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2FARhyr
There are also other disks available on the market, that either help solve a certain problem or offer different possibilities.
The first one is a double density round disk. This is exactly the same as the regular round disk, except it is double the thickness. This helps with the tension as it keeps the slots staying tighter for longer:
Double density kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CYSL3I
Another disk you can get is a round disk with a handle. This handle is meant to make it easier to hold on to the disk, while still making the braid in the same way.
Round kumihimo disk with handle on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CXwseQ
There is also another variation of the round disk available, which has double the amount of slots. This opens the possibilities for the braids that can be made, as you can use more cords to create the braid.
64 slot round kumihimo disk on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2CVuF9V
So if you try kumihimo and find out you enjoy it and want to continue, you can always experiment with these disks in time, as all there is needed to get started are the basic disks.
Check out the video that goes along with this blogpost, where I go through the disks.
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