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the Silk bracelet
hand made in Kyoto
About Us

Showen Kumihimo is a traditional textile manufacturing which was founded in 1948 by Noboru and Misao Kaji. Showen specializes in the traditional craft of Kumihimo, which is traditionally used with formal kimono. Showen is the foremost manufacturer merging traditional craft with today's fashion trends.  


With over 60 years of handcrafted experience, as well as, over 50 years of machine-crafted experience, we deliver to the world the finest quality of traditional and innovative Kumihimo products.

Preserving and Redefining the Traditional Handcraft Production

We have been excelling the handcraft (called "tegumi") of kumihimo and ojigime (for kimono) productions since our foundation of the company. Our in-house craftsmen make hand-made kumihimo for customers who are interested in high-quality, custom-made braids. These handcrafters continue to develope new braids and product designs by using "tegumi" kumihimo techniques, which are our fundamental strength.
Within our two kumihimo schools, our professionals continue improve our "tegumi" technique. As a company and as a school, we have a lot of handcraft tools to meet the demands of traditional obijimes kimono orders as well.  


The craftsman sits down in a 1 meter (3.3-foot) square work place and braids by crossing the thread through a specific sequence of wooden pegs. The sequence of wooden pegs can vary from ten to over a hundred, depending on the complexity of the kumihimo's design. Moreover, projects made with the Takadai are very tedious and takes many decades to master.

This is a basic braiding tool which uses a square board and an raised woven braid.  The braid is woven from the top to the bottom using specific threaded counterweights to acheive a certain tautness.

Marudai is a classic tool that creates the kumihimo braid from the bottom to the top.  The kumihimo braid is created by moving the weighted spools of thread in a clock-wise fashion along the circular wooden board.  The kumihimo is then produced through the center hole of this tool. Marudai specializes in rounded or square-shaped kumihimo that range in complexity of more than 50 threaded spools.

Kumihimo braiding with this tool is similar to textile. Horizontally crossing the thread with varied weighted spools will determine the dexterity of the braid.  The heavier the spool, the tauter the braid will be.  On the contrary, the lighter the spool, the more flexible the braid will be.