(The following is translation of the e-mail which was sent to Japanese customers.)
I'm Y from YOUYOUANG.
How are you doing?
It's November, but the weather is still refreshing and sunny like early autumn.
I don't know if it can be called autumn of art, but today, I would like to talk about tanmono, the fabric of kimono.
A female staff member, who has returned from New York, is at the desk next to mine, and her life's work is weaving. She was one of the first students when the Special Ramie Weaving Experience Student program started 30 years ago in Showa Village, Fukushima. This is a person who has had the valuable experience of staying for 10 months (homestay) and experiencing techniques.
Echigo Jofu, registered as an Important Intangible Cultural Property, is a particularly high-quality ramie fabric made in Echigo, and it must be woven using karamushi ramie from Showamura.
Karamushi weave has a beautiful ecru color. It is also used as a temple offering.
Karamushi weaving cannot be inherited after returning to Maebashi, her hometown, because karamushi is only available in Showabura, but Gunma has one of Japan's leading textile production regions, Kiryu.
She still occasionally goes to Kiryu to learn weaving. She even has her own loom at home!
This is a Nagoya obi, sash. The colorful pattern is made from threads from Gunma Prefecture.
The warp threads are being wound. This is how you line up each thread one by one to weave!
It looks daunting.
I was shown some of her fabrics, and it could be told that she used to work in the apparel industry as they all had a very good sense of style. She said “It won’t be a product.” I persuaded her to let me buy one of the fabrics, and I quickly made it into a kimono before she changed her mind! (Laughs)
This is the kimono I made from the fabric I bought somewhat aggressively. (Laughs)
This is also a fabric that she dyed and wove from yarn of Gunma. The weft yarn is hand-spun, so it has a great taste. I put on a Shioze obi, sash, that I received from my senior disciple of Kodo.
Since this is a great opportunity, I am planning to make a scent and other scented articles using this Karamushiori fabric.
Thinking that there are so many beautiful Japanese things and things with a long history in the places that I don't know about, I start to feel happy.
The warm weather will not last forever.
I hope you don't catch a cold as we head into the cold season.