Wednesday, August 17, 2011

anatomy of a temari: part two

The Core

Temari are constructed from the center outwards. At the core you need something to form the basic round shape. Some people use a styrofoam ball since it's already round, however this isn't for me; I like to start from scratch. Instead I use rice hulls, which are used in beer and wine making as filtering material. I take part of a new, clean sock or stocking and fill it with rice hulls — the amount depends on the size I want for the final temari. The bell box is nestled in the center of the rice hulls, and the top of the sock or stocking is folded over. The next step is to form it — almost like a snowball — into as round a sphere as possible, and then wrap with yarn. I'll save that for part three.

Alternatives to rice hulls (which are traditional in Japan) are scraps of fabric, cotton or bamboo batting, even the left over scraps of embroidery thread that are saved when sewing the pattern on the temari. Dried lavender or other scented flowers or flower buds can be mixed with the rice hulls. Or catnip, should your cat be a temari connoisseur!

rice hulls


  1. Fascinating.

    Please keep the anatomy of a temari parts coming.

    I don't see how a nice, perfect (maybe almost perfect?) sphere can be made that way, but previous posts have shown it can be done.

    Impressive. (And they have been beautiful.)

  2. There's a Japanese term, wabi sabi, that means "perfectly imperfect." Perhaps as I progress my termari will sometimes be "perfect" spheres, but likely more often than not they'll be wabi sabi. Such is the nature of the craft.