They was started to amuse children (what isn't?). It is said the balls were made from tightly wrapped silk left over from kimono making. (some were said to actually bounce!) and the extra colored threading was wrapped over that for a decorative touch.
Throughout the years the meaning of the Temari (handball) has been enhanced to be offered as gifts in present day time. To be given a fancy Temari at a wedding or birth is a honor. Lots of craft people make the Temari as Christmas ornaments.
Here I am making the north and south pole. You wrap a thin piece of paper around the Temari evenly and pin opposite side. Before placing the paper, you fold the strip in quarters and this will give you the equator. Some Temari balls are marked with invisible thread and some are marked with the same color as the wrap.
I picked the simplest pattern I could see and used a metallic thread for easy visibilities. This is a dragonfly pattern based on a common 8 (C8). A division of 8, 4 threads down and 3 across. I used a beaded pin to keep me oriented to the north.
The basic design is to follow the dissecting lines. I'm still a little baffled about the interlocking cubes and star patterns but I'm reading and learning more each day.
These Temari balls are also done with embroidery floss.
I'd really like to be able to make a chrysanthemum pattern and I will try it because they are very pretty.
There is a lot of technical language that accompanies the Temari balls, I was rather confused reading about the Obi (midsection, just as part of the kimono). I kept thing "How can that be when I made the equator?" The Obi is the midsection design that is no bigger that 1/3 of you Mari (the ball).
I completed my dragon fly the same day I started them. They aren't very pretty of linear flies but it's a start.
Not bad. C&G Design
Words and photos by Dawn,C&G Design.