Thursday, 23 June 2016
This month we had a treasure trove of garments and fabric from Japan, thanks to the fabulous Katie Chaplin of Japan Crafts.
Katie has been addicted to all things Japanese since she read Memoirs of a Geisha as a teenager. Her love and enthusiasm for traditional Japanese textiles is infectious. Rather than show us photographs of her treasured collection of kimonos and obis, she generously allowed us to handle the fabrics. Only then could we appreciate the quality of the materials and the skilll and craftsmanship that went into making them: a shimmering obi of gold, green and orange silk, tiny knot patterns in a shibori fabric, a hand-woven piece of silk fabric made by a grand master and a sumptous wedding kimono.
Katie visits Japan around 4 times per year, to source new fabrics and to top up her collection of vintage garments. She takes the opportunity to learn a new skill or craft on these trips and talks knowlegably about them and how they relate to her samples.
At the end of her talk, we had the chance to buy fabrics, kits and sashiko threads to practice at home. Who could resist the temptation?