Filed Under (Braiding) by jennyk on 02-05-2006

Since my last entry, I’ve been doing more pick-up takadai braiding using patterns from Makiko Tada‘s book on pick up braids and from Yayoi Miura’s web site, including some variations. After doing a few, I decided it was time to try a design of my own. My first thought was to try a Greek key design, but takadai braids are more suited to hexagons than to the right angles of a classic Greek key, so I ended up with a kind of double spiral. The picture shows the right side of the braid with the reverse side below it. Click on it for a larger picture.

Spirals - th.jpg


Michael on 3 May, 2006 at 2:52 pm #

Looks fantastic! How much time is involved in this process? Is it a lot different than, say, tablet-weaving the same kind of design?

Are all of the designs reversible?

spinjenny on 3 May, 2006 at 6:22 pm #

Thanks, Michael!

Yes, all pickup designs are naturally reversible. It would be possible to vary the marks on each side somewhat, but not without creating floats at those points which would disturb the 2-2 twill (or plain weave, in some braids) and so just create another kind of mark.

I haven’t timed myself at either technique, but I think they probably take similar time. Plain doubleweave is possibly faster in TW, but for pickup, cards have to be manipulated for every change of pattern. On the takadai, marks parallel to the V-shaped fell are done by the hand movements and don’t slow the braiding down much, so only changes in the pattern in the other direction require exchange of bobbins.

Another factor to bear in mind when comparing the techniques is that on a standard takadai, pickup braids can only use up to 68 bobbins, though koma with more pins can be used to increase that. TW pickup can use as many cards as the weaver is prepared to handle. The braids I’ve been doing use 60 bobbins, but I’m looking forward to trying 68 bobbin braids soon.

Anne W on 23 May, 2006 at 11:08 am #

Hi Jenny
I am in the kumi2 yahoo group and have been working on a takudai since the end of last year. I think your pieces are superb. I have a question – you have a link to Yayoi Miura’s site and that first photo of the braids blew me away. Do you know how the colour shift was achieved in those braids? Where the colours graduate from light to dark. I think I am just at the crawling stage in this learning curve. I am on my 3rd takadai braid and am using Rodrick Owen’s book – I just hope I am doing it right – the braids are looking okay with no obvious mistakes.
Anyway happy braiding
Anne in New Zealand

spinjenny on 23 May, 2006 at 1:25 pm #

Thanks, Anne! Yayoi Miura’s braids are stunning, I agree. I assume she made them by using space-dyed warps for one or both layers. I am looking forward to trying that as I love the effect.

I have used commercial variegated knitting ribbon on a marudai. Aligning the colour repeats when making the warp is fiddly and can waste a lot of yarn. Also the colour repeats are usually short and not consistent enough to line up the colours very well. It wouldn’t be viable to use commercial variegated silk or synthetics for a 60 or 68 bobbin takadai braid with many fine strands per bobbin.

I don’t know of any commercial source for space-dyed ready-wound kumihimo warps, so I will have to wind the warps and space-dye them myself. I am not sure my limited dyeing skills will allow me to get those smooth gentle transitions in Yayoi’s braids, but I will try.