11th May 2019 Workshop: Weaving Sanada-himo Bands at the Oriental Museum Durham.

Venue: The Oriental Museum, Durham

Date:  Saturday 11th May 2019

Time: 12:15 - 4:15

Cost: £25.00

This workshop was very popular in November 2018 so I will be running another workshop.

Here is the web address    https://www.dur.ac.uk/oriental.museum/whatson/details/?id=34730

In the meantime, here is a short introductory video on how to weave these lovely treasures on a rigid heddle and backstrap.

Weaving Sanada Himo Cords.

For further information and to book a place, contact the Oriental Museum at:
e mail:   oriental.museum@durham.ac.uk           or by telephone on 0191 3345694.

The cost is £25.00 and includes the heddle (ready warped) the shuttle and a spare warp and a booklet giving patterns and help with weaving.

Remember numbers are limited. Do contact the oriental Museum ASAP.

The front cover of the booklet for the workshop

Sanada-Himo are the traditional woven bands from Japan. 

These have been used to tie scrolls, paulownia boxes containing precious objects and used as ties on Samurai armour. These relatively humble artefacts have a surprising history. They have their own origin legends as well as traditional uses.

The cost of the workshop includes all the weaving equipment needed to continue this fascinating craft at home. You will receive:
  • a ready warped rigid heddle, so that weaving can start straight away.
  • a shuttle
  • a backstrap
  • a booklet of seven patterns including instructions on how to thread the heddle.
  • a spare warp and weft to take home


In this workshop you will learn how to weave a narrow Sanada-Himo band with a rigid heddle and shuttle using a backstrap.  The backstrap is a narrow belt to which the weaving end of the warp is attached. The other end of the warp is fixed to a g-clamp or other fixed hook. The weaver can tension the warp by leaning backwards and forwards. It is a very portable hobby and everything that you need will fit into a small shoe box. No bulky equipment is required. 

At home you will need to decide where and how to fix your warp. G-clamps are inexpensive to buy or you can use other ways of fixing the warp. I will give you some suggestions during the workshop.

The heddle is ready warped with a thick thread for you to learn how to weave. Here is the band that you will be weaving in the workshop. It is a pretty design in white and two shades of blue.

A lovely blue and white pattern. 

Bands like this can be used for a number of small items such as: key ring tabs, lanyards, luggage tags, friendship bracelets. I will be showing you a number of items that you will be able to make.

I have made the warps and threaded eight heddles for the workshop. Do come and join the fun and learn a new portable craft which is part of Japanese heritage. This lovely heddle and shuttle will be yours to take home.

Eight heddles threaded for the workshop

Workshop Skills

You will learn how to start to weave and how to finish the woven band. Keeping edges straight is a skill but there is a handy method of helping you to achieve this.

I have also made a YouTube video which you can refer to when you get home so that you remember the weaving process.

Heddle and shuttle showing start of woven band in a thick thread. 

Spare weft.

You can choose your own spare warp to take home. There are six different warps so that you can decide which one you like best.  This warp is made from finer threads. The weft for the new warp is in the package as well.

You can see the different bands produced by each weft in this photograph.

Six packets of warp and weft and a sample of the woven band. Choose one as your own spare warp to take home.

Instructions are given in the booklet which show how to thread the heddle with the new warp. Photographs show you the stages of setting up your heddle to weave.
Once you are ready, the YouTube video will remind you of how to weave your band.


Spare warp to take home.

The heddles and shuttles are available by mail order from Stoorstalka if you wish to buy one for a friend. It is the medium size heddle and comes in a variety of colours.
Click here for more details.      Stoorstalka

Here is the web address for the online store.  https://shop.stoorstalka.com/en/products/weaving/

Happy Weaving

Susan J Foulkes


  1. Dear Susan, I would really love to attend but sadly I live quite far away... Is it possible for me to buy the kit only?

  2. HI. I only bought enough equipment for the workshop. However, there is a link on this page to Stoorstalka who sell this heddle and shuttle. It is the medium sized standard heddle. They ship world-wide and are very efficient and helpful.



All comments are moderated before being posted. There will be a slight delay before your message appears.