Friday, August 15, 2014

Winter Break

I'm taking a short break to refresh and catch up with some jobs around the house. The shop will re-open on Tuesday 26th August.  I'm still taking mail orders.
Thanks.  Jan

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Shibori Nagajuban

Today I'm having a display to coincide with the handmade market in the hall next door. I have a small collection of shibori-dyed nagajuban  undergarments.  These are the traditional equivalent of a petticoat. The collar is usually a plain white cotton which allows a han-eri collar to be tacked on, which is then visible at the neckline of the kimono. These  are all nagajuban from the early-mid 20th century.

. Shibori literally means' to squeeze'  and includes a wide variety of resist techniques involving tying, stitching, folding,  wrapping or clamping the fabric before it is dyed. It has traditionally been used on a range of textiles from fine silk kimono through to the simple home-dyed cotton nappies that I showed here a couple of weeks ago.

  There was a tradition in Japan of wearing very rich and often colourful linings and undergarments. This developed largely in the Edo period (1600-1868) when there was a series of sumptuary laws which attempted to control what fabrics, colours and designs different classes of people could wear. The growing merchant class  has the money but not the official status to wear rich, silk fabrics and so these would be worn on the inside or under their kimono where they couldn't be seen...except by those who knew them well.  The nagajuban here are example of  the continuing influence of this tradition in the early -mid 20th century. Sadly the tradition died out in the post war years and  nagajuban now tend to be bland white and pastels.

 The sleeves and lower half of the next one are wool 'mosu' (Japanese muslin) printed to look like stitched shibori. The upper half is actual shibori on a cheap cotton. 

The next one  has been made from fabric oddments. The sleeves are kimono silk the bottom half is a wool or wool blend nagajuban fabric and the upper half ia shibori dyed cotton and probably quite a bit older than the other pieces

 This patchwork nagajuban has been pieced from remnants of kanoko silk shibori, most of these have been hairbands used in traditional Japanese hairstyles.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima so it seems a good chance to show this beautiful and moving book that I was introduced to recently. Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako was asked to photograph clothing and other items in the collection of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The garments have been photographed back lit on a light box which adds to their poignancy and sense of fragility. There is a small amount of text which is in both Japanese and English.


I bought my copy from Amazon Japan but it might also be available else where. There is a DVD also.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Teru Teru Bozu

To celebrate the start of my 'Big Mid-Winter Rummage Sale'  on Sunday  I gave away little Teru Teru Bozu  fine weather amulet doll kits...

Teru Teru Bozu (lit. ‘shine shine monk’ ) are traditional Japanese amulet dolls made of cloth or paper which were hung under the eaves of farm houses to bring good weather. They are often associated with the Japanese rainy season in June and early July. During the Edo period (1600 – 1868) they also became popular with city children wishing for fine weather the next day. On the other hand, if you do want it to rain apparently you should hang your teru teru bozu upside down! 

They're quite simple to make  even without a kit.  Form a small ball out of  a scrap of wadding, fabric or even a couple of tissues and place it in the centre of a square of fabric or paper.  Tie some thread tightly around the neck  and draw on a face. Then attach another piece of thread to top of the head. 

For anyone in the Hobart area our sale is on until the 2nd August.

Monday, June 23, 2014

In Store...

Around the shop...
Most of these items aren't in the online catalogue at the moment  but you're welcome to email me if there's anything you're interested in.

We've got some nice old boxes in at the moment:

Lots of old and not so old cotton shibori:

We always have various kokeshi in the shop:

I've been putting  out lots of old  indigo (Bundles of these are available online here ) :

Very sweet dog netsuke:

 I always have fun making up the kimono fabric buttons:

A lovely selection of small katagami stencils:

Some sweet mini kokeshi:

These antique indigo charm packs are also available online here:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sekka Shibori

I have just put these lovely pieces of sekka shibori on my website here. Sekka means snow flowers  and refers both to the dynamic designs and the technique for creating them. Sekka  is an itajime clamp style of shibori (explanation below). They're dyed in a vibrant indigo on a very soft white cotton. This fabric was often used for nappies (diapers) and this first piece is still stitched in a loop in the style of a traditional Japanese nappy. The full loop measures 34cm x 125cm  - the photo shows half the length.

This nappy would date from the early 20th century but this style of nappy (though not beautifully hand-dyed!)  is still used in Japan . It is folded into a pad and used with a nappy cover. I used them for my first child but the fabric was so thin I didn't find them very practical after a few months of age! Nappies were also traditionally made from remnants of old cotton clothing and household textiles, a dyed one like this would most likely have been a gift.

The next one is a nappy but the seam has been unpicked so it is a single length of fabric - this photo also shows half the length:

The next piece of sekka shibori is pieced together from a baby's kimono. The fabric is a very soft open weave cotton which was often used for clothing for babies. Soft white cotton garments are still popular for newborns.  You can see the T shape cut where the collar has been.  It may have been pieced back together to re-use as a nappy though it is a little longer (160cm) than a usual nappy.

Here's a short  explanation of how sekka shibori is dyed:

Cloth is folded into wide vertical pleats. The pleated cloth strip is then repeatedly reverse folded, either horizontally or diagonally, into a square, rectangular or triangular form. This creates a neat bundle of folded cloth  that is fitted between boards or sticks, held in place with a cord, and dipped selectively in the dye. The multiple folds create simple geometric patterns, and the dye is drawn into the folds, creating a distinctive soft-edged effect.  

(from:  Wada, Rice and Barton, 'Shibori: The Inventive art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing ')

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kimono silks

Today I've been busy putting more kimono silks online:   My kimono silks are usually $15 - $17.50 per metre.  If you can't find what you're looking for you're always welcome to email or call - I have a lot more stock in the shop than I've got online.  Here are a few of the ones I've just added: