The Oakland Museum recently held a "textiles day" with live demonstrations. I took photos of smocking and kumihimo until my camera battery ran out. This elaborate loom, worked in a way I had never seen before, was quite impressive. If you'd like the fullsize originals emailed to you (they're about a megabyte apiece for four pictures), please email me.
After I first posted this, Michael Hattori emailed and said that he's the braider in my photos (and that I had a typo on the site, now corrected). His "loom" is called a takadai and the pattern he wove, Kikkogumi. He is part of a kumihimo listserve on Yahoo Groups. The other braiding demonstrators at the museum were Richard Sutherland and Anne Rock. -- Rachel Holmen