Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Different Take on Japanese Kimono by Lynn Forman

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I became interested in reusing vintage kimono pieces several years ago when I discovered the work of Kumiko Sudo.  She is a Japanese fiber artist who incorporates asian influences and sensibilities into her quilts.  I began to work through two of her books, Fabled Flowers, and Flower Origami, learning how she uses fabric origami, sashiko embroidery, and hand-stitched applique. 
I began to wonder how kimono silk would fare with origami techniques as embellishment for clothing, so I ordered assorted vintage kimono pieces from a shop on etsy and got started.  I quickly realized that the beautiful prints were lost in the folding process and switched to using solid satin in the folded embellishments I use on some of my scarves and small purses.
I adapted her hand sewing techniques to machine sewing.  Here are some of my interpretations:
I then experimented with piecing prints together for my scarves allowing each individual print it’s moment(similar to when it was part of a kimono), but also having it becoming part of one beautiful patchwork combination, ( a totally new life).  
When I discovered wool and cotton kimono pieces, I wanted to try heavier scarves and fabric bowls.  I used solid wool to offset the beautiful colors and patterns in the wool kimono pieces.I also made which could be also used by men.
Now for the bowls..... Kimono fabric is approximately 14” wide, perfect for fabric bowls.  In order to showcase each beautiful design, I chose a very simple square or slight rectangle with minimal shaping.  The backing is either hopsack cotton, linen, or denim, all of which are heavier woven fabrics and complement the weave and design of the cotton kimono pieces.
 Stop by Boutique 208 to see these creations in person.


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