Takadai

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Takadai.jpg

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.

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Pick Up braid 2.jpg
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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.
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Books[edit]

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