Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Gifts from Japan

My sister just came back from a 3 weeks trip to Japan. I'm sure you can all guess what was my special request to her. FABRIC! While she was in Tokyo, she went in the fabric district. She found a 5-storey store (Tomato), with 3 floors being only cotton prints. The first time she went, she had to left with her hands empty. She was to overwhelmed to make any choices. You can see some pictures of the store in one of her trip posts (in french). Lucky her! When she returned to the shop, she made this great selection just for me! Thank you so much little sister!

Gifts from Japan

Here is what I was able to find about the fabrics starting at the upper left corner. The first fabric is a home decor weight (twill, 100% cotton) from "Project By Cotton". I love the floral print. The soft colors would fit perfectly in my living room. I guess that is why my sister picked it. The second is linen/cotton blend. It is from the Dutch Door Press collection by Letterpress & Design Studio for Kokka.The third I cotton hemp canvas named Polish Nostalgia also made in Japan. These cute small prints would be ideal for small projects like pouches. Unfortunately, there is nothing written on the selvage of the fourth print. I wasn't able to find anything similar. I think this large print will be perfect for a bag. The last fabric but not the least, is a print designed by Kayo Horaguchi.  I didn't know this designer, but her whimsical illustrations are so pretty. And I just love the colors of this one. The warm pink, orange and yellow on the neutral background. This is printed on double gauze cotton.

The print by Kayo Horaguchi is definitely my favorite. I'm don't know yet what I'll do with it. I can hardly imagine cutting into it. I saw some people made some nice little girl dresses with her prints (here, here and here). But, I have two boys ... So, maybe something for me. Maybe something like a Washi tunic. I don't usually sew clothing, but I thought that would be a great occasion to do so. I'm not sure I have enough tough. I'll probably need to combine it with something else.

Gifts from Japan

The best part of getting new fabric is really having to imagine all the possible projects. Thanks again Isabelle. What a great souvenir from Japan!

3 comments:

  1. I wish I could have bought more of each fabric and simply more fabric in general... there was so much choice. :(

    Is it "Print by Cotton" or "Project by cotton"? Because there was a lot of "Project by cotton" in the store, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the mysterious fabric is not from them also. One thing you could try to do is take a picture of one repeat of the mysterious fabric and try a Google "Similar Image" search and see if it brings any results. I don't know how well it would work with fabric, but Similar image search is often a good alternative when you find no other information and all you have is a visual.

    I wish I knew more what I was doing when I was in there, I could have taken notes of what was on the selvage or make better choices :/

    Anyway... With some research I found the company that prints "Projects by Cotton", which is Kobayashi Cotton, but their site is only in Japanese : http://cotton-kobayashi.co.jp/ .

    You can try and browse their site with Google Translate, but automated translation from Japanese rarely turns out good, or even understandable, because their sentence structures are so different, ehehehe.
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&prev=_dd&u=http%3A%2F%2Fcotton-kobayashi.co.jp%2F

    I also found a blog post of someone talking about Kobayashi Cotton :
    http://www.japanesesewingbooks.com/2012/11/07/japanese-fabrics-cotton-kobayashi/

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  2. Oh! and also, if you want to use pictures of the Tomato store directly in your blog post, let me know, I will send them to you :) I have a few others I didn't put in the blog.

    I focused my shopping at the Tomato store as the choice was already incredible and the store was well organized compared to smaller ones, but I actually went to the Nippori Fabric Town which is a whole street full of fabric and fabric related (buttons, trims, leather....) stores. It is very fun (and tiring) to walk the whole thing and be fabric-overstimulated, lol! Lets just say I was terribly missing my sister at that moment and wished she could have been there so we could have explored the street together. I could have watched her be amazed and bubblings with ideas... and torn to which fabric she would choose! So I hope we get to go back one day, together :)

    For more information on what kind of store there is at the Nippori Fabric Town, you can have a look at this tourist pamphlet : http://www.tokyocraftguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Nippori-map.pdf . There are also many blog posts about it where you can see pictures and read about people's favorite spots.

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  3. Quel beau cadeau! Je suis certaine que tu feras de super projets!

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