Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It's been a very busy few months and I'd meant to post earlier than this to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and  a happy and safe holiday season.  Thank you as always for your interest in my blog and supporting Wafu Works in 2013. I'm looking forward  to another great textile-filled year ahead!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Store...

We only sell authentic antique indigo cotton for sashiko and I always have trouble keeping the supply up. All the fabric is taken from antique futon covers and sometimes work clothing. My husband (and supplier) Takashi  calls it uraji which just means lining. We always have plenty here but before I can put it out in the shop it has to be washed, unpicked, defluffed (of futon wadding cotton), and then ironed and cut into usable pieces with no holes and patches.

I sell small pieces as remnants  and the patched pieces go into a basket in the shop with other patched and holey antique cottons. Later today I'll start offering bundles of these pieces on my online shop. Perfect for stitchers who like boro style textiles.

I can't resist washi tape! It's a very thin paper adhesive tape which is lovely for crafts and wrapping. I use it every day in the shop to close customers' packages. I thought I'd like to get a few  traditional designs to stock in the shop but I had to put in a bigger order than that - so we've got lots of washi tape! I'll put some online soon.

I've just got in  some lovely new Japanese cottons. These are about 110-112cm wide and are beautiful quality. I haven't got them online so please email me if you're interested in them and I'll send you some more photos. 

These ones in taupe and other natural tones have wonderful textures

Clover brand kanzashi templates for making fabric flowers are always popular. They're now making a mini version which makes flowers about 35mm across. I'll put them online when I get the chance or contact me.

I've recently put out more old theatre postcards. I'll try to remember to  post more on the blog soon.

I try to keep an interesting selection of Japanese craft books in stock and have added some more recently.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In Store...

Just a few photos from around the shop. Please note that unless I mention otherwise the items I show in my 'in store' posts are in my Kingston Beach shop, not my online shop. I'm sorry this has caused some confusion. But you are always very welcome to email me and enquire about any of the items posted in my blog.

We always have silk shibori by the metre. Some of these are online and I will add some more.

And a lovely silk shibori haori:

I love buttons. We've got old and new, Japanese and Australian, matched and mismatched...

These are the Japanese dressmaking scissors that I use myself in the shop. They just feel beautiful to use. I'll be putting these online soon.

We always have paper mizuhiki in the shop and online. Wonderful for special Christmas cards and wrappings.

Some  'Year of the Ox' ceramic bells...

We have a few lovely hand-stitched temari balls at the moment:

And a grumpy  Daruma made out of seashells:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

1913 Taisho Obi Design Book

I  am selling this wonderful old design book on my website (link below).  It's a book of original handpainted  full size  obi weaving designs which have been pasted onto old bookkeeping records and bound.  It measures 37cm x 50cm and has around 140 different designs; the photos here are only a small sample.   The cover reads:  'Design Book , 2nd year of Taisho (1913), 7th volume, Miyake Sei Shoten'.  Miyake Sei Shoten was a clothing and fabric shop in central Kyoto which sadly closed last year. This album of designs is from their archive.

If you're interested in this album  it is  listed on my online shop here, or you can contact me directly.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I'm sorry it's nearly a month since my last post! I'm full of good intentions but time slips by while I'm busy with the shop and family.  This week our family  said good bye to our much loved Millie. So in her honour I'm posting some Japanese dogs from my collection.  We don't often see dog motifs on fabric  - the yukata piece below is the only one I have in the shop at the moment.

The first one is an old, very small hand stitched  toy with a string to hang it as a decoration. It is the same basic pattern as a traditional sarubobo monkey doll.

Next is a panel of wool mosu ('muslin') with nationalistic symbols and scenes typical of  many boys' kimono and men's nagajuban undergarment  fabrics in the 1930's. 

This little wooden ornament is a Tosa fighting dog from Kochi prefecture in it's full regalia (not that I want to endorse dog fighting!) 

From a roll of children's yukata fabric, probably 1960's:

One of the most well-know traditional Japanese dog images is the paper mache ' inu hariko' (though a lot of people mistake it for a cat!)

Because of the ease with which dogs give birth the inu hariko has traditionally been used as an amulet for safe and easy childbirth. The following image is from a very old manual for women (circa late 18th century) and gives  instructions on preparing the expectant mother's room, including placing an inu hariko in the room. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In Store...

Around the shop....

Lots of bundles of indigo cotton  ideal for boro inspired projects. I have these in my online shop as well:

Early - mid 20th century ikebana basket.:

I've put out some more donsu:

I've been sorting out boxes and boxes of textiles trying to make space for the shipment that arrived a few weeks ago and I discovered this wonderful bolt of cotton shibori:

A beautiful silk child's kimono:

I had a few more rolls of new quilting cotton arrive in our last shipment:

I love stitching with natural linen thread especially when working on boro inspired projects where regular sashiko threads can look too new and stark. So I decided to stock some in the shop.  So far I've just got a fairly  fine pure linen and a linen/cotton mix but I'll add more in future. I'll put these on my online shop as well:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gallery - Aukje Boonstra

Aukje Boonstra is a well-known Tasmanian dyer, stitcher and all round textile artist who has been using fabric from our shop in some of her works for many years, and has taught workshops here in the past as well.  You can see some of her works and learn more about her workshops and other events on her website:  Here are a couple of her wonderful creations made for exhibitions earlier this year using remnants and paper from Wafu Works.

I was really excited to see this amazing outfit which Aukje made  from kimono remnants, natural dyed silk and a pre-used skirt  for the Wonders of Wearable Art  at the Chocolate Fest in Latrobe.

And equally amazing is Aukje's  'Book to Kimono' for the Burnie  'Paper on Skin' exhibition earlier this year. This is made from antique paper  which we sell in the shop and is  taken from various old Japanese books.  It's lined with black tissue paper and stitched with a traditional Japanese running stitch.  The mini kites on the back were  made by Aukje's late husband  Mal.