Tuesday, January 27, 2015

potd - Egasuri

I just put out this panel of egasuri ('picture ikat' ) indigo cotton with a wonderful koi carp design.  It's handwoven and  probably  dates from  early-mid 20th century but the  bubble pattern is very modern.

Monday, January 26, 2015

potd - Old Kimono Fabric

This is a roll of unused synthetic pre-war kimono fabric . Japan made a huge amount of rayon and other 'artificial silk' fabrics between the wars. I'm not really sure what this is - definitely not silk but I don't think it's rayon either.  I think it was probably quite a cheap fabric. The printing isn't very fine but the grey and orange is quite striking and a good example of how Japanese kimono designers had a knack for putting unexpected colours together. They seem to have become a bit tamer in recent decades  since kimono wearing became restricted to more formal occasions.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

potd - Retro Kimono Silks

As my stock of  old  kimono silks slowly moves toward the 21st century  we're getting less of these crazy  60's and 70's  designs.  I'll miss them when they've gone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

potd - Katazome Boro

Antique patched and stitched boro ('rags') futon cover panel. The base fabric is very old katazome ('stencil-dye') cotton which is stencilled with a rice-paste  resist before dyeing in indigo. It probably dates from late 19th or very early 20th century but some of the patches don't look as old as the others - so it may have been used and repaired for many years.  The katazome was made as a futon cover fabric but is a more expensive fabric than the plain indigos, checks and stripes that you usually see on patched boro pieces like this,  which makes me wonder if this  belonged to a family that may  have seen better days. Most of the katazome futon cover fabrics we get come in much better,  un-patched condition.  The first  patchy photo shows the reverse side of the panel.This piece is available in the shop and on my website.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

potd - Flowers

Some of the range of traditional floral motifs that we see in kimono fabric designs... plum blossoms, paeonies, wisteria, camellia, bamboo, chrysanthemums and  maple leaves. But no cherry blossoms here - we get a lot less cherry blossoms than people expect!

Monday, January 19, 2015

potd - Antique Map

Antique tourist map of Kamakura. This is undated but is most likely  from the mid-19th century. I'll put this out in the shop soon but it's already in my online catalogue.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

potd - New Books

I was very excited recently to find a new supplier of Japanese art, design and textile books,  and my first  box of very beautiful books just arrived. Some in English, some in Japanese (with lots of pictures) and some in both. I'll be ordering more soon because there are ones I'll just have to have for myself! Titles include Hokusai Manga, Ukiyoe Cats, Traditional Japanese Packaging, Kimono History and Style, Traditional Japanese Stencil Patterns, Kokeshi... etc.