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A takadai (高台), also called kōdai, is a frame used for making kumihimo, a type of Japanese braid. The braids created on the takadai are flat (3D effects can be achieved) as opposed to the braids created on the marudai which have a round or polygonal section. The threads are attached to weighted bobbins called tamas and lay on wood pieces with pegs that are called koma. A wooden sword is used to lightly beat the braid once the braiding has been done. The braiding progresses on a 'V' front, as opposed to weaving on a regular loom that progresses on a straight front.

The art that is worked on the takadai is a braid, not a weave. Although many of the patterns used on this braiding stand resemble the up and down motion of a weave, since each thread takes a turn at being both the weft and the warp, it is a braid.

On the takadai it is possible to make intricate patterns using a technique called "pick-up braids". The braid has two sides of two contrasting colors and is usually linked on the edges. Then a pattern is formed by interchanging strands from the bottom braid to the upper braid, and by changing the braiding sequence. See Rodricks' book for more details.

Pick Up braid 1.jpg
Pick Up braid 2.jpg
Pick Up braid 3.jpg

Terms related to Takadai[edit]

  • Kumihimo or kumi himo - Japanese for "gathered threads".
  • Marudai- a smaller stand for making round braids
  • Obi - the broad cloth sash used in traditional dress.
  • Obijime - the cord used to bind the obi secure.
  • Tama - little spools. The thread is kept from unwinding by passing the thread under itself, forming a loop around the tama. True silk is a hollow fiber with a rough surface that resists slipping past the loop unless gently pulled. For synthetic fibers, a flexible plastic "clamshell" bobbin may be preferable.


  • Making Kumihimo, Japanese interlaced braids, by Rodrick Owen
  • Comprehensive Treatrise of Braids V, Taka-dai braids 3, by Makiko Tada