Thursday, April 30, 2015

potd - Igezara

These printed plates are called igezara  or thorn plates because of the distinctive brown scalloped edges.   Igezare come in various sizes - these ones are about 25cm in diameter. They're sturdy everyday plates and  date from the early 20th century.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

potd - Grumpy

Thank you to everyone who came along to the garage sale - we had a fun morning! If you're in the Hobart area and would like to know when I'm having sales and other events please email me and I'll put you on the mailing list.
Today's photo of the day is this  grumpy person who just found his way into the shop...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

potd - Garage Sale

I'll be closed tomorrow for Anzac Day but on Sunday I'm having my annual shop Garage Sale ( but it's in the shop not the garage)  for my mailing list customers and friends. It's in the nature of our business that we have a lot of  stuff - things that have come to us damaged or just aren't quite right to go in the shop, or have been in the shop too long. It all stacks up in one corner of my shed and I'll be sorting it all out tonight and tomorrow.   Everything's cheap - some stuff is free. There's discounted threads and remnants as well - and lots of odds and ends. It's always a fun day . It's on from 9am to 1pm  - come early!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

potd - Kimono Oddments

Some random pieces from the kimono oddments basket...


Monday, April 20, 2015

potd - Books

I've been putting out more books in Japanese and English...

More and more Japanese sewing books are being translated into English

 Shizuko Kuroha, who was a pioneer in Japanese quilting, uses some wonderful Japanese fabrics in her work including kimono silks. This is a lovely book.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

potd - Antique Cotton

Just about to price some more antique indigo cotton pieces...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

potd - Indigo Shibori

I just put out some more rolls of indigo cotton shibori. To be made into usable  yukata (cotton kimono) fabric these would be steamed and stretched -  and lose much of the texture they have now. In their scrunched up state they're popular here for scarves - though I always warn customers that some colour might rub off (crocking).
The centre for this type of shibori since the 17th century has been Arimatsu  in Aichi, now part of Nagoya, where you can have classes in shibori dyeing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

potd - Japanese Wig

Upcoming nuptials - or just a bad hair day? We have this wonderful 1960's wedding wig for sale...

Friday, April 10, 2015


Tomorrow we'll be celebrating our third annual Harikuyo needle thanksgiving ceremony.  Bring along your old, broken, and rusty pins and needles (machine needles welcome). This is a traditional Japanese ceremony to thank and lay to rest old and broken sewing needles. In the past it was widely celebrated in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, schools and homes. It's usually held in February but we're running a bit late this year.  Needleworkers often rest on this day and pray for improvement in their stitching skills.  Their old needles have not only worked hard but are believed to have absorbed some of their spirit and heard all of their secrets (!) and so they are thanked and gently laid to rest in a soft bed of tofu.
Hope you can come along  Sunday 12th 10am - 3pm and visit the Kingston Beach Handmade Market next door as well.

There's more information and photos  from our first ceremony here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

potd - Tsutsugaki Futonji

I try and post a photo of the day here and on facebook every day that the shop's open but sometimes I just don't have time and sometimes the commentary is rather brief.  The brevity  of yesterday's post amused some of my  facebook 'friends' so today I'm trying to be more informative...

This is a  wonderful   tsutsugaki dyed futon cover panel with a dynamic peony and karagusa ('chinese grass') design. It has been taken from the kake-buton top part of the futon (the equivalent of a doona).

In tsutsugaki the design is drawn on the fabric with a rice paste resist using a cone-shaped 'tsutsu' that is a little like an icing piping bag. When the fabric is dyed in indigo the resisted areas remain white. The fabric will be dried and re-dyed a number of times. During this process the areas to remain light indigo will be covered with more resist before re-dying to achieve the dark indigo on the rest of the piece.  Then the resist will be washed out. This will have been professionally dyed at a local dye shop (traditionally a male job) for a relatively well-off  family in the late 19th - early 20th century. It's still in perfect condition. It's obviously been treasured over the years and probably only used for guests.  It's available in the shop or online.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

potd - Kimono Fabric

I hope everyone had a good Easter. I spent a little chunk of my break tidying up the rolls of kimono  fabric...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

potd - Pocket Knives

In our tool section we've got a box of old pocket knives including this wonderful very old one with a scythe-like blade in one end and a saw in the other.

We'll be closed for a short break over Easter and will re-open on Wednesday 8th.