Kumihimo (Japanese braiding)

Ancient Japanese had many uses for finely crafted silk cord; sealing scrolls, the samurai uniform, even cording the obi of the kimono. Elaborate and exquisite are the best words for the folk art they developed. 

    Kumihimo braiding is performed on a stand called a marudai, where the strands hang around the top and are manipulated by the braider to form the cord.

    This is a very relaxing hobby,and very "zen". Plus the resulting braids are drop-dead gorgeous!