Thursday, July 25, 2019


It was probably a lucky thing that my old online shop died...  it was very old and not very  user-friendly. Now I'm planning a completely new  and very different one.  In the meantime  I will be posting a mix of  one-off  bundles and treasures here.  HOW TO ORDER:  If there's anything you'd like please email  me at with the item number. I will get back to you asap with an invoice and payment details.  Most items will be one-offs and I'll remove them from here as soon as possible if they're sold. All prices include postage within Australia - but of course I'm happy to post overseas as well.  They're all in the shop as well  - let me know if you'd like to hold anything for you.  I will continue to add items until I get my new website up - it  might be a while knowing me!

M1   200g ANTIQUE COTTON REMNANTS  - late19th - mid 20th century cotton pieces  in varying sizes and condition suitable for boro projects, visible mending etc. $70 (incl postage)

T1  ANTIQUE KOMEBUKURO  Early 20th century patchwork rice bag with original string drawstring - in excellent condition. Approx 43cm long. $80 (incl postage)

T2  OLD BACKPACK - mid 20th century old indigo cotton backpack with string drawstring closure. Length approx 45cm  $70 (incl postage)

M3  SLOW STITCH PLAY PACK    Just over  two metres of  c.1970s kimono fabric (35cm wide, silk and mixed), and a  selection of silk kimono threads, fine cotton  sashiko thread and mixed Japanese and Australian buttons.  Fun for slow stitch, crazy patchwork,  visible mending etc $70 (incl postage)

T3   BORO PANEL Authentic c early 20th century boro patched and mended futon cover remnant . Approx 140cm x 65cm    $190 (incl postage)


M6  RETRO WOOL BUNDLE   6 x 1 metre pieces of 1960s/70s wool kimono fabric - 3 printed, 3 woven. Printed ones are quite light weight.  $72 (incl postage) 

T5  MAN'S KASURI HAORI   This is a very unusual piece! It's a formal style man's haori made with indigo kasuri (ikat) cotton which was  not usually used for formal garments. Probably mid - 20th century. The price  of this is determined by the old spotted kasuri  fabric which is very valued for patchwork in Japan - but I definitely don't want to unpick this lovely garment!  $250 (incl postage) 

T6  BATHHOUSE NOREN CURTAIN   Funky mid-late 20th century men's public bath doorway curtain. Cotton approx 132cm wide x 120cm long.  The red character is hiragana for  'yu' (hot water/bath) - the characters in the bottom right say 'men's hot water/bath' and the characters in the bottom right say 'milk soap' (sponsor brand name) $60 (incl postage) 

M7   DYER'S SCARF BUNDLE    5 x 1.5m  x 35cm  lengths of kimono silk suitable for dyeing as scarves  -  or something else.  The ends are unfinished. I have plenty more of these white kimono fabrics for dyeing - let me know if you need different lengths.   $90 (incl postage)  20% off regular per metre price. 

T7  INDIGO FISHING BOAT BANNER   Approx 130cm x 130cm  with a few marks and a patch in one corner.  This is a Tairyo-bata  fishing boat banner with the boat name 'Sumiyoshimaru' and  a kamon family crest.   These are usually very colourful but this one is a lovely, simple   hand-dyed pale indigo. $95 (incl postage)

M8  BORO BITS   265g of antique cotton  plain indigo remnants from old futon covers, work clothing etc. some holes, fading and patches -   perfect for boro,  sashiko, slow stitching, visible mending  etc  $79 (incl postage) 

T8 SASHIKO STITCHED ZOKIN   3 traditional zokin or fukin  cleaning cloths hand stitched on re-used cotton  which look like theyve been old tenugui hand towels. $64 incl postage. '

More to come..... 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

That hair!

I've had some interest in this photo from an old post I made in 2013.  You can see the original post  here.  The  photo seems to have made it's way  around the internet to Reddit and I've been asked about the context.  I'm not surprised - I love this photo!

The photo is from an old album that my husband Takashi bought in 2012/13.  Some photos in the album are dated 1934 but  we  think this photo is earlier   -  probably 1920's. The album has photos from Kurashiki and the  Seto Inland Sea so it  might be from  Okayama - we don't know.

One of the  comments on Reddit questions the authenticity of the photo based on both its quality and the hairstyles. I can assure that person  that both the photo and the hairstyles are 100%  authentic. If you look at my original post there is photo from another album  of a fairly conservative looking young man with a similar style: 

  This  was an exciting  time of 'Taisho  Democracy' liberalism  when  relatively wealthy  mobo ('modern boys') and moga ('modern girls') set the fashion.  Here's some more 'old school cool' from the same album - most of the photos in the album  are a bit  more conservative than this:

As some  also commented on Reddit, the world would have soon changed dramatically for these young men and there's every chance they didn't survive  beyond  1945.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In store - Katagami Stencils

I've just put quite a lot  of these  ‘miyako yuzen katagami’ in the shop and on my website . They date from the mid- 20th century and were sold in sets , sometimes with a frame,   for use at home or possibly  by small home-based textile businesses.  Like all katagami  they’re made  from Japanese paper treated with persimmon tannin to prevent rotting.   The designs are relatively simple  and apparently were often cut  by young,  less-experienced craftsmen who would cut around  ten sheets at a time.  They measure 26.5cm x 45cm. They’re  in excellent, sturdy  condition and are  suitable for  use  as stencils  or for framing, covering lamps etc. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

In store... Wooden Combs

Handmade  wooden combs for creating traditional Japanese hairstyles... 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weaving Design Book

This small  (18cm x 25cm)  book of hand printed textile designs  is one of a  1903 series entitled 'textile large mirror' . This volume is 'weaving number 3' . It's a concertina style album  and at first looks like the designs have peen pasted in and hand-annotated but the designs and annotations  have actually been  printed directly on to the pages. There are  eleven double page designs (approx 19 x 28cm),  eleven  single page designs and seventeen  smaller designs.  

This album is now available for sale on my website. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I've just put this piece of boro on the website. It's a large, very old  futon cover  that's been opened out lengthwise.   The main panel is a piece of tsutsugaki.  Tsutsugaki  is created by drawing a rice-paste resist design on to the fabric with a tsutsu (a cone a bit like an icing bag).  It's then dyed in indigo and sometimes  other colours are added.   The back of the fabric has been extensively patched with  plain, striped and checked indigo - which of course is the bit that we  boro fans love! It dates from late 19th - early 20th century.  The tsutsugaki panel would originally  have been an expensive piece, not something peasant farmers or workers could have bought,  so there will have been an interesting story as to how to came to be in such a humble state.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year of the Rooster! Unfortunately we don't usually get rooster designs on fabrics that come through the shop.  This is a large embroidered woollen antique banner weight (with rabbits on the other side) which lives with me.
I've had a nice peaceful break and will reopen on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to another fabric-filled year. Thank you as always for supporting Wafu Works!