Bless the little sheepies

I moved to the high desert of Central Oregon (elevation around 3,500 ft) several years ago. Here we have only two seasons: our winters are dry and freezing and the summers are dry and hot, but both are beautiful. Every winter I pull my Columbia sportswear jacket out of the closet, bemoan it’s lack of…

Bast again

Ah, those wonderful mystery fibers. Gotta love ’em. It’s funny, but to the modern eye, “vintage” Japanese fibers tend to be either brightly colored silks or indigo blue and white cottons, but historically this was not so. Prior to the mechanization of weaving in the mid 19th century, a great deal of weaving was still…

Electric bubblegum meisen, revisited

It took about 1.5-2 hours to take it all apart, but fortunately it was all hand-stitched and that always helps. Any kimono-type garments that have been machine stitched at some point are a nightmare to dismantle. Kimono are typically hand sewn of course, but from time to time I come across a vintage piece that…

More meisen!

I post nice things about meisen, and this is what I get: more meisen! Here’s a group of 4 nice florals, some of which will be for sale on ebay this week. You can find my listings at KimonoMomo on ebay. This next little piece is going to be an interesting challenge: It’s in somewhat…

Simple yukata how-to project for a rainy day

I often tell people my studio is knee-deep in kimono textiles, and sometimes I’m actually joking. Today, not so much. It’s raining outside, the snow is melting, and I’ve got a HUGE shipment of vintage kimono just waiting for me to tear into it. But first, a little project for your consideration. Working on ways…

Toxins in your textiles

Due to erm, unforeseen circumstances, I cannot access certain programs on my computer, including my photo editing software, so no pictures today. Instead I’m sharing some of the interesting bits and bobs I’ve found so far on leaded silk. You think lead paint in children’s toys is bad? A hundred years ago we were wearing…

Snow and Fiber

It snowed last night, so I got up early this morning and took a few photos of the boro quilt on the back porch. A flock of Canada Geese were flying overhead at the time, and I watched them get caught in a sudden gust that sent them heading in a different direction… they’d been…

Thoughts in process

I’m currently working on researching lead silk, as it’s something you don’t come across so much these days. I do have some pieces of it in my vintage collection from the late 19th century, both in US-sold cloth of the era and (I assume) in several of the Japanese textiles as well. If you have…

Musing on meisen

I must admit, when I started working with kimono textiles I didn’t care much for meisen, that fuzzy-looking weave popular in the early 20th century (early Showa). It made my eyes feel out of focus and looked really… weird to me. And then, this came into my life: Cherries! and they’re not fuzzy! Photos cannot…

Hello world!

I’m starting the new year with a little mystery. I discovered this piece being used as the stiffener inside an old obi recently. The obi itself was quite old, but the fabric has been repurposed and is likely from the 19th century so far as I can tell. It’s not cotton, rayon, wool, or silk,…