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Kumihimo basics: Binding or sealing the end of a braid

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Photo a

To successfully separate your finished braid from the working cords, you need to make sure the braid won’t come undone. The traditional binding method is easy and low-tech but is made more secure with the help of Fray Check or super glue, which require some drying time. The cord burner, a relatively recently-introduced tool, allows you to cut and seal the cords
in a single step, but it’s not required equipment.

Whatever method you choose, you should have worked a ½ in. (1.3 cm) section of unbeaded braid before delving into one of the following binding or sealing approaches.

Traditional binding

To bind the unbeaded end of a braid, cut a 6-in. (15 cm) piece of thread or cord. It can be the same as your working cords or a different kind entirely. Wrap the cord tightly around the unbeaded braid end one or more times, and tie it with a square knot (photo a)
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Photo b

For extra security, place a drop or two of Fray Check or super glue onto the binding cord, letting it seep into the unbeaded braid end. This isn’t required, but it is a good idea for a bit of added security. Allow the cords to dry, and then cut the braid end to the desired length and trim the tails of the binding cord (photo b).

After sealing, attach a magnetic claspend cap with loopcone, or crimp-end finding.

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Photo c

Sealing with a cord burner

Grasp the unbeaded end of the braid — just beyond the beaded portion — with pliers or a hemostat. Allow the cord burner to heat up for a second or two, and then apply the tip where you want to end the braid (photo c). Once the braid is separated from the working cords, take a moment to continue applying the thread burner to the end of the braid to melt and seal the cords.

After sealing, attach a magnetic clasp, end cap with loop, cone, or crimp-end finding.

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