Swimming in Sateen, and a bit of Tsujigahana

Kona Bay Fabrics have offered Japanese cotton sateens for many years now, but I’ve not ordered any until this month. Why oh why did I wait so long? These are gorgeous! Photos don’t do them justice.


The metallic gold is beautifully incorporated into the print, which means it doesn’t stand out as much as it does on most fabrics and it blends well with the overall design while adding shimmer.


The colors… oh, the colors! So delicate.


Crisp lines and soft edges mix and mingle. Flowers large and small flow effortlessly among each other.


Several of the fabrics feature the delicate crinkles indicative of tsujigahana. Similar to shibori (tie dye) but far more complex, this technique was popular centuries ago, then fell out of favor. Since that time one artist has managed to revive this artform and elevate it to something entirely new. Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003) created a vast body of art that is housed in a stunning museum near Mt. Fuji. The kimono he created during his lifetime (and a few that are still being created according to his design by his apprentices) are in a rotating exhibit in a single, large, purpose-built room with plenty of natural light.


I was fortunate to visit this museum last spring, but as photography is not allowed inside, all I have to show for it is a book and some postcards. I highly suggest viewing the museum website for a view of the collection.

If you are tired of winter’s color palette and look forward to the softer pastels of spring blossoms, give the sateens a try and let me know what you think.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Vanessa says:

    Hi, the link you posted is not the museum website… the correct link is : http://www.itchiku-museum.com/

    1. Oh! I must have copy and pasted the other one twice. Thank you for catching it!

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