Common division types in temari marking

S8 marked temariBefore you start stitching a pattern on your mari you have to mark it into a division.

The process of marking is one of the most dull and yet important steps in making a good temari. The geometrical beauty of the finished ball depends directly on the preciseness of your marking (in web-design I would add !important modifier to every word, but in text I’ll stick to bold letters).

Marking is made with marking threads (jiwari), that are traditionally metallic, but can also be the same as design treads. You can even make the division invisible (but non inexistent!) by using the thread similar in color to the ball base.

There are two basic types of divisions: simple and combination (complex).

Simple divisions.

Simple divisions are abbreviated S# (S4, S12 etc), where # stands for any number between 3 and infinity. With it you have only two poles (north and south) and divide the ball evenly into # vertical slices.

S8, top view and side view.
S8 temari division

The most tricky part in simple divisions is that you have to keep all angles between the marking lines at the pole even. Here is a list of most common divisions with angle values (every angle will be 360 divided by #).

S4 = 90
S5 = 72
S6 = 60
S8 = 45
S10 = 36
S12 = 30
S16 = 22.5
S20 = 18

Example: Samarkand sunrise temari (S16), three winged temari (S6)

Combinations (often called complex divisions) are abbreviated C#. You start with a simple division S# and then add symmetrical marking lines to get multiple poles on your mari. You’ve done it right when the marking around all poles is identical.

According to math and crafters, there can be only a few combination divisions: C4 (= S4 with a central line called obi), C6, C8, and C10.

C8, view from every pole 🙂

Combination 8 temari division

Example: squares temari (C4), Khokhloma temari (C8)

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