Video From FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Takayuki & Tomo Ishii of Awonoyoh

Last week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY we had a special treat with Takayuki and Tomo Ishii of Awonoyoh. The two are just wrapping up their time in Seattle as Botanical Colors’ artists-in-residence. Taka is a renowned indigo dye artisan and Tomo is a designer and expert in Japanese clothing. The two own a workshop in the mountainous area of Kanagawa Prefecture and they grow and process their own indigo to make traditional indigo fermentation vats. The two also run an indigo dyeing company using traditional techniques and materials. Watch the video recording here. Takayuki and Tomo will talk about the tradition … Read more

Video: FEEDBACK FRIDAY With Hari Baru Paris

Our last FEEDBACK FRIDAY was with Godelieve Keulen, the founder of Hari Baru Paris. Godelieve’s background is as a fashion designer specializing in knitwear but all of her designs are inspired by natural dyes. We found her through Instagram and fell in love with her beautiful zabutons, Japanese sitting cushions traditionally used for sitting on the floor. Watch the video recording here. From Godelieve: “I became interested in natural dyes during my sabbatical leave of 9 months in Kyoto, Japan. My husband was working at the university there. I immersed my self in the local artisanal crafts which one of … Read more

Video From LIVE FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Takayuki Ishii of Awonoyoh

This week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY we had Takayuki Ishii of Awonoyoh. Takayuki Ishii is an indigo dye artisan who was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He currently owns a workshop in the mountainous area of Kanagawa Prefecture, where he runs an indigo dyeing company using traditional techniques and materials. Takayuki talked about the tradition of sukumo in Japan and the Japanese textile techniques born out of the creative exploration with his indigo dyeing. Being one of the last remaining producers of indigo in Japan, he shared his process and why it is so important to preserve this expertise. Watch the … Read more

Some of the Best Quilting Cotton Was Hand-Dyed in Japan Thirty Years Ago

Okan Arts imports vintage Japanese yukata cottons for adventuresome quilters. Okan Arts, owned by textile and natural dye artist Patricia Belyea, is a home-based shop in Seattle, bursting with over 1,000 bolts of vintage Japanese cotton. Hand-dyed by artisans in Japan from 20 to 50 years ago, the cottons radiate luscious colors and a graphic boldness. Simple cousins to the gold-enhanced reproductions of kimono silks typically found in quilt shops, these yukata cottons were made for casual unlined summer kimonos. “The summers are hot in humid in Japan so breezy, light kimonos made of cotton are perfect. Silk kimonos are … Read more

Kathrin Von Rechenberg’s Tea Silk a Well-Preserved Gem

“Tea silk considered one of the most well-preserved gems in Chinese silk craftsmanship. Originating from the Ming Dynasty, this fabric was once considered the most luxurious silk. The ’30s became the gilded age for xiangyunsha (the Chinese name for tea silk, also called langchou)—more expensive than gold, it was among the most desired goods by Southeast Asian aristocrats, and in China it became an icon of local urban elites. At that time, Shunde, the birthplace of tea silk on the Pearl River Delta, counted more than 500 factories. Unavoidably, the Cultural Revolution saw it as a symbol of capitalism and … Read more