Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

potd - Mt Fuji and Dragon

Wool muslin ('mosu') man's haori jacket lining with Mt Fuji and a dragon...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

potd - Old Books

We always have old books... Buddhist texts, accounting records, school text books etc. Some people like them just as objects others have used them in some amazing art works. We sell packs of old paper from the books that have fallen apart as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

potd - Old Wool

100% wool kimono fabric from the 60's or 70's.  We always have old wool and wool blend kimono fabrics on the roll though my stock of vibrant treats like this is dwindling. It would have made an amazing kimono!

Monday, October 27, 2014

potd - Obijime

Obijime cords are the final decorative layer on an obi. We always have a selection of as-new and used in the shop.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

potd - Momohiki

Early 20th century indigo dyed cotton momohiki  men's work pants.

Friday, October 24, 2014

potd - Swirly Silk

Among the printed kimono silks there are also a number that have been hand-dyed. This dynamic swirly design is probably from the 70's.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

potd - Natural Threads

I have these threads in the shop and online. I love stitching with the100% linen one.  Linen isn't a traditional Japanese fibre like hemp and ramie  but it works with  old indigo and gives a  subtle, aged look -  in boro-inspired pieces, for example.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

potd - Old Advertisement

We do more than just textiles! This is a metal (little bit rusty) advertisement from the late 60's  or early 70's for instant curry.  The text reads 'with meat and vegetables..Otsuka's  Bon Curry..heat pack'.  Bon Curry was the original boil in the bag curry that anyone who has lived in Japan would be familiar with and was introduced in 1968 by the Otsuka Corporation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

potd - Shigoki

Yesterday I  put out some long red silk shigoki obi.  These are  decorative additions which can  be worn with ceremonial kimono - for example a girl's Shichigosan festival kimono or a wedding kimono.  They usually  have this type of fringing and are always popular in the shop to use as scarves.

Monday, October 20, 2014

potd - Zokin

Handstitched zokin cleaning cloths dating  from around the middle of the last century. Someone went to the trouble to stitch a big pile of these (I've already sold quite a few)  and they were never used. It was traditional in Japan to turn fabric remnants into cleaning cloths in this way, often  more carefully stitched than these ones. We've had them in the shop before and customers seem to use them as table mats.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

potd - Camellias

We had a garden full of camellias in Japan and I've planted as many as I can practically fit in my garden here. Quite a few of them are still in bloom at the moment.  Camellias  appear on kimono silks such as this one but traditionally they're not considered an  auspicious motif because the way the whole flower drops (rather than individual petals)   is seen to resemble a head being lopped off. I love them anyway.

Friday, October 17, 2014

potd - Remnants

We have two big baskets of kimono remnants in the shop.  They're usually full and at the moment they're overflowing. These are roll ends, narrow pieces from collars, pieces cut from less than perfect kimonos, and little bits that just turn up. We sell these by weight in the shop and online we sell them in bulk packs or by colour or theme.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

potd - New Sarasa

The annual Patchwork Shop Hop starts today (see post below) so I'll be expecting a lot of quilters in the shop over the next few weeks. Our  kimono fabrics are well suited to non-traditional and art quilts but we do stock a range of new Japanese cotton quilting fabrics for traditional quilting as well.
This is my favourite new cotton in the shop at the moment - it's lovely and soft with a quite open weave.  The design is  based on traditional Japanese 'sarasa',  which in turn were based on printed cottons imported from India as far back as the 17th century.

Shop Hop

The annual Southern Patchwork Shop Hop starts today and continues until the 7th November. Spend at least $10 in each of the shops to receive a gift bag and go into the draw for one of six big baskets of prizes. You can just go along to any of the shops to sign up.  This is my second year in the Shop Hop. It's a great way to introduce the shop to new customers and also for me to get to know some of the owners of other fabric shops in the Hobart area.
For customers it's a chance to support local businesses and see what they have in stock...even for non-quilters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

potd - Man's Yukata

I still have a box of these old photo cards from around the 1960's  (I sell packs of them online here ).   They were attached to bolts of yukata fabric to illustrate what the finished garment would look like. Most of them are of  women but I thought this gentleman was quite charming....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

potd - Rayon

This is a detail of a piece of rayon  or 'artificial silk' fabric from the middle of last century. It was probably an undergarment fabric  - a lot of the  interesting pieces were.  Customers  are often surprised by the range  of fibres other than silk and cotton which have been used for kimono fabrics especially with the growth of the broader textile industry in the 20th century.  Japan started producing rayon in 1918 and were the biggest producers in the world by the end of the 1930's. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

potd - Woodworking Plane

In the back corner of the shop between the kimono fabric and the sewing threads we also have old Japanese woodworking tools. They're a bit out of place and I don't know anything about woodwork (luckily the customers usually do)  but they're very popular so we keep adding to them. I love the character and patina of this very old plane.  It's a collector's piece but most of our tools are sold to be used. The chisels are especially popular because of  the quality of the steel and the variety of styles and sizes. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

POTD - Boro

Detail of a boro  (rags) futon cover panel.   I've always loved these old  patched futon covers and garments  which are left over from a time when many people lived in poverty and  every scrap of fabric was valued and re-used.  When  I first started out 'boro' was a dirty word, now even  'boro fashion' is a thing, and prices for old original pieces have gone up accordingly.  The trick is to watch out for non-authentic pieces and that will become harder as prices go up even more. 

(Four years ago I wrote this post about boro. In that time attitudes in the Japanese textile market have changed and the term 'boro' seems to be widely accepted now. )

Saturday, October 11, 2014

POTD - Shibori Haori

I'm just  getting ready for a one day kimono and obi sale today (Sunday 12th Oct 10am - 3pm) to coincide with the handmade market in the hall next door. This young woman's vintage  shibori dyed haori is my favourite garment in the shop at the moment, but there'll be lots more. I'm trying to clear some stock to make space for a shipment of kimono and haori which should be arriving soon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

POTD - Floral Yukata

 1950's over-printed floral yukata (cotton summer kimono) fabric. Bright, bold colours like this were popular after the forced austerity of the war years.  I did have quite a few of these in different colours but they've nearly all gone now. I'm not usually a floral person (!) but  I love these. The cotton is very soft and has a nicer feel than most of the later yukata fabrics we get.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

POTD - Katagami Bat

This is a very small katagami stencil. The brown comes from persimmon tannin which is used to stop the paper rotting. Bat motifs come up very rarely  and I've only ever seen them on old indigo katazome (stencil-resist dyed) and kasuri (ikat) cotton.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Photo of the Day - Mosu

I'm putting this old piece of wool 'mosu' (muslin) in the shop today . It's a woman's nagajuban undergarment and would date from the mid-20th century. Customers are often surprised that 100% wool fabric can be so fine. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Photo of the Day

I've finally succumbed and started a Facebook page! I'll be posting a 'photo of the day' of  textiles and antiques that are currently in the shop. I know a lot of people don't like Facebook  so I'll be posting the photos here as well. And I'll still be doing my usual blog post here as irregularly as ever.  You can find me at Facebook  here.  Here's my first 'photo of the day'. 

I'll start with a section of our wall of silk - I have a lot of customers ask if they can take their own photos. I can't count exactly how many rolls of kimono silk we have out in the shop at the moment but probably around 750, mostly dating from 1960's to 80's - some older, some a little newer. There are other shelves of  vintage cotton, wool, and synthetic kimono fabric as well.