Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ancient inspiration

Note: The brick and mortar City Quilter has since closed...

I'm creating a garment that has no closures.  No buttons, no zips, and no fiddly mechanisms to manipulate. A garment designed and decorated with an appreciation for the people who will see it. Simple in structure, that can be passed down through generations. A garment that can be disassembled and reassembled for special laundering or repair, if desired, that can conform to a variety of body shapes. That can be equally elegant in "thin" or "fat" times... A garment that respects the body movements of the wearer, and offers some versatility regarding how it may be worn...

Oh wait, that already exists.  It is called the kimono. Incredibly practical.  Timeless in its beauty.  Insanely forgiving.

We are in a kimono phase right now in fashion, if you haven't noticed.  Google it, and you will see, fashion is all about the kimono right now. To make one, you need to know how to do it, but you do not need to know how to fit or alter, since the kimono requires neither.

If an American equivalent of the kimono were to exist, what would it look like?

Well, the fabric has to last.  Both the color(s) and the fabric itself need to endure.

My latest appreciation is for "yukata" cotton.  I was gifted this lovely piece of fabric by a friend of mine, who attended a Okan Arts trunk show at City Quilter.

To use it, I thought... I'll need to know what the characters mean, and which way is right side up and what is upside down...

So I asked my best friend to ask her dad to tell me what the fabric said.  And in his extremely thorough, wonderful way, he shared this...

From dad:
It is read "dai-naru-to" or "oh-naruto" in Japanese.   It means "great tidal whirl pool".大, dai = big.       ( 鳴, naru = ringing     戸, to = door. )鳴戶, naruto = 1. The eddy or whirlpool and its sound caused by the strong low tide and high                            tide hitting each other.                        2. (Not in this case)  The semicircular fish past on a wooden plate, kamaboko,                             which is rolled up white fish past and red fish past. When it is cross cut, the                             Intersection will show white and red whirl pool like a roll cake.                         3. A city at the north-east corner of Shikoku Island, facing Kobe and Osaka.                             A big bridge, "Oh-naruto bridge" connects it with the main island of Japan via                             an Island named Awaji-shima in between.Hence, Dainaruto or Oh-naruto may refer to the famous noisy great tidal eddy.Many tourists just go to the Oh-naruto Bridge, get off their vehicles, wait and watch the great tidal while pool.
Please note that the printed words on the top is looked from front, while the lower one is looked from back side.
By the way, do you know "yukata" means "bathing wear", by its words?However, in real life, it is evening wear, for both staying at home, or for out-going, or visiting, especially it is very comfortable during hot and muggy summer evening.
Is she going to make a yukata for herself?  If so, please remind her when she wears kimono, the right piece must be under the right piece.  Men and women wear kimono in the same way.Only the shrouds are worn left piece under right piece, men or women.  Some movies made in Taiwan once caused big laughter in Japan years ago, just because the female star was wearing kimono with the left piece close to her body under the right side, just like she wore Western style dress.

What a wonderful guy.  I love when people take this kind of time to explain.

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At June 9, 2015 at 9:39 AM , Blogger Cherry said...

A great story. Perhaps I will get to see your kimono when I come on your October tour.
Could you help me with a little information before then?
Which would be the best stores for quality beaded fabrics? My future daughter-in-law has set her heart on a beaded 20's style for her wedding dress. In red, no less, influenced too by Indian bridal wear. This is going to be more of a challenge than I thought when I offered to make her dress!
I need to do some pre-shopping before we go together....
Thanks for your most helpful blog,

At June 9, 2015 at 7:05 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Fabrics and Fabrics, B&J, NY Elegant, and Fabrics Garden are good places to start.

At June 12, 2015 at 4:19 PM , Blogger Cherry said...

Thank you. We eventually found what she wanted at B &J Fabrics

At June 12, 2015 at 5:25 PM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Great! Glad you found what you were looking for!


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