Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Japan - Textile Heaven on Earth

Front cover
Japan!  I'll start slow...there is so much great stuff in Japan, so many amazing techniques & so much style.  We have a ton of stuff (not enough, ever!).  When we lived there, we were poor & were saving for travel, so didn't spend much on souvenirs.  But in 2005 we went back for a week to see friends & our good friend, Noriko, took us to some antique shops.  We spent way too much, but even then, I didn't get a kasuri (ikat indigo) kimono.  What was I thinking?!  Anyway, in an antique store in outside of Tokyo, we happened upon this kimono pattern book. It's on heavy board, it would stand up by itself for the tailor, who would be working on the floor, as you can see on the photo below.

There are many styles of kimono in here, some very old-fashioned.  The book is about 14" tall - I've often wondered if I just cut the patterns out at this size if they'd work for a barbie doll?  

It was a real steal - about $5, and goes along well with our collection of weaving & textile tools collection (drop spindles, shuttles, fabric stamps, you get the idea).  

Fabric requirements
Pattern layout
On the picture above, you'll see 2 cotton kimono (my hapi, the roommate's yukata) which we've had since 1994.  Mine is about worn thru, so I'll probably use the fabric in something else soon, so I don't forget it.  The kanji (characters) on it are for the 4 seasons.  More Japanese  textiles later.  But now I'm going upstairs to work on my new dress!  More on that tomorrow...

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