The beautiful kimono that has been hanging on my wall since our return from Japan had lately been enticing me more and more to deconstruct it. In my mind I was sewing marvelous scarves with the large areas of vibrant red-orange shibori and the black shiboried pine trees against the swath of white, the delicate passages of gold seigaiha waves. It was not until I received a spectacular vintage Taisho kimono (from 1912-1925) that I could not ever imagine altering in any way that these scarves became reality and my wall has a magnificent new hanging. I think you can see in the details that the rinzu woven into the silk is an exotic pattern of cranes.
I may have said this before, but every day I am delighted and amazed anew by the wealth of colors and designs and the sheer beauty of the marvelous silks available from Japan for designing my new scarves. I take great pleasure in carefully choosing from the hundreds, perhaps more, of kimono and fabrics and discerning which ones will be the most versatile–will be able to blend with several others in order to be combined in a myriad of ways; which will provide the greatest amount of variety within the same piece; which will yield the greatest amount of continuous fabric without waste. This is a learning process, learning not simply by trial and error although, of course that is necessarily part of the process, but by beginning to understand the terms and what they mean. Today I await the arrival of a piece that has all the most desirable elements: karinui; furisode; rinzu; yuzen. Let me explain what the words mean and how that adds up to perfection for my purposes. Continue reading