Thursday, January 28, 2010

the happy tenugui

Roy and Shines from Beijing, and Ben from Seattle, model their tenugui from Japan.

A martial arts accessory. A sweat band for a chef. A worker's headpiece. Japan's signature towel tells a story with its printed pattern and the way it’s knotted.

The rectangle of cotton is the width of yukata fabric and approximately three times longer. Printed with custom designs, three tenugui from Blue & White shop in Tokyo created a big splash at our welcome-home dinner.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

my yokohama connection

Kaname, a seller of high-quality yukata fabrics, was able to meet with me when I was in Tokyo this month. Her hometown of Yokohama is a wonderful place to visit with an exciting waterfront, large Chinatown and many cultural sights.

We met up at a Starbucks by the Yokohama JR station and headed to a nearby hotel lobby to check out her suitcase of wares. I chose 11 bolts of vintage, hand-printed cotton for my collection.

Her fabric comes from a supplier who travels the countryside, buying fabric from estates. Whole bolts are readily found as a kimono is made from a single bolt of silk, wool or cotton.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

more from osaka

The top four fabrics are not vintage but instead premium yukata fabrics produced in the last five years. I imported these from the same antique warehouse in Osaka.