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Wooden marudai threaded and weaving started. This marudai is comprised of unfinished wood and has the start to a weaving. There is a large wooden dowel weight in the center and 28 spools of thread in varying shades of yellow, green, red, orange, and white. There is a newspaper article clipping taped to the base.

"A stool like wooden device used for plaiting a number of colored cords to make a multicolored "kumihimo." The technique of making the "kumihimo" with marudai was used in day to day living of the Japanese people as early as the 8th century and later used for knitting armor, decorating furniture and various articles used for religious purposes. While there are hundreds of ways of plaiting cords, the kumihimo is today used mainly for holding the obi cloth up and called obi-jime."

The marudai is a round-top braiding stand used to make a wide variety of kumihimo braids (round, square, rectangular, flat, triangular, and other polygonal shapes). Although no exact invention date is known, the marudai is believed to be a product of the early Edo period (1603-1868). A Japanese style marudai is 40-50 cm tall and is designed to be used in a kneeling position or placed on a table top. It is the fastest and most traditional way of creating braids.


Plait, Thread, Wooden, Kumihimo

Original Medium

Wood and Textile


28 cm L x 28 cm W x 42 cm H



Date Information


Artifact Number


Original Collection

Mike Mansfield Collections, Mss 65, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Librar, Unviersity of Montana

Holding Repository

University of Montana, Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-- Missoula. Mansfield Library

Image Credit

Image Credit: Micaela Connolly, University of Montana

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Plait, Thread, Wooden, Kumihimo

Image Location