(502) Takadai Braiding Demystified

The Japanese takadai is a braiding loom designed for making flat, double layered, and 3-dimensional braids in simple to complex structures. From narrow trims to scarves and shawl collars, takadai braids make terrific finishes for your handwoven garments and accessories.

This workshop is for beginners to intermediate level braiders. You will learn how to warp and set up efficiently, finish braids in several ways, interpret braiding instructions, and create your own notation system to make following instructions easier. There will be valuable information about braiding fibers and color interaction for specific applications.

Beginners will learn log cabin, twills, rep braids, and shadow weave. Experienced braiders are invited to plan individual explorations with the instructor.


Terry Flynn

Experience Level:

Beginner, Intermediate

Maximum Class Size:


Equipment required

See Website

Student Supplies:

  • Takedai
    • Standard takadai with 36–48 bobbins/tama preferred. 
      • Bobbins/tama of 85g are a good general-purpose weight for trims for garments and interior design furnishings. 70g (or lighter) are better for scarves. 100g are excellent for firm work, like belts and guitar straps. (Note: Large bobbins used in making beaded braids do not work on a takadai.)
      • One sword/hera – either bamboo or hardwood. Baby takadai – a pickup stick approximately 10″ to 15″ (25 – 37.5cm) long x 1″ wide x 1/8″ thick, beveled at one or both ends.
      • If you are planning to use 48 bobbins with a standard takadai, you will need 10 / 6-peg koma, or 8 / 9-peg koma.
    • OR Baby takadai, 36 EZ-Bobs with weight of 23-24g (A baby takadai with 36 weighted EZ-Bobs will work, but it is slower to use and students will not be able to work all the designs or cover as much material.)
      • #10 crochet cotton for bobbin/EZ-bob leaders. (Do not use 2-ply pearl cotton. It will break.)
      • For baby takadai, (original design) 6 – 9 peg koma, (2022 version) 10 – 6 peg koma.
  • Raddle for keeping bobbins separated when warping. (If your takadai did not come with one, you can make one with a piece of wood 2-inch x 3-inch x 36-inch  with 1 ¼ inch nails or pegs spaced 1 inch apart or purchase from Harrisville Designs.
  • Equipment for measuring the warp: a pair of warping posts with clamps to fit a table of indeterminate thickness or a warping board (We will have at least 2 sets of warping posts and one warping board available, but we will need more.)
  • Measuring tape.
  • Sharp scissors for cutting across warp bundle after winding.
  • Materials for note taking and about a dozen post-it notes about 3” x 3”.
  • Graph paper with a grid that is easy for you to see. This is for mapping out color order, and for brainstorming.
  • Colored pencils or fine tip markers if you like to color code.
  • Cotton thread: 20/2 or 10/2 weaver’s pearl cotton, 8/2 embroidery pearl cotton, or 6-strand embroidery floss in at least one dark value and  four or more light- to medium-values. Color cards with suggested colorways will be sent. (An updated fiber list will be available prior to registration to reflect current prices.) Please check with the instructor if you wish to substitute thread with other fibers.
  • Book: Rodrick Owen’s Making Kumihimo – Japanese Interlaced Braids, (out of print, but available second-hand). Annotated handouts with additional designs will provide enough designs to keep you busy if you can’t find the book.
  • Notes:
    • An alternative to wooden tama are ceramic insulators used with electric fencing. See separate handout for using these.
    • If you have a sensitive back, and have enough room in your car, consider bringing a small weaving bench or chair, or ergonomic seat cushion.

Download the Supply List as a PDF.