Monday, 14 November 2016

Fabric finds

So, after a fabulous and manic trip to Tokyo, I am now safely back home. My case is unpacked, clothes are being washed and I am back at work. But I'm still going through the stash of fabric I managed to buy when I was there.

A big reason for going to Tokyo was to sell my bags at the International Bazaar, but another reason was to stock up on more fabric for my collection. Tokyo is great for its vintage kimono and obi fabrics that can be found at the endless antique markets and shops around the city, but it is also a haven for any fabric lover. Its supply of fabric shops, most of which can be found in the aptly-named Fabric Town in Nippori, would keep any fabric addict happy for a very long time! My favourite shop is Tomato, a haven that is comprised of five floors! Each floor focuses on a different fabric type, cottons on one floor, silks on another, with bargains on the ground floor - this is the busiest floor and some gems can be found there with a degree of foraging and polite elbowing.

These two cottons caught my eye for their vibrant colours and fun themes. Pineapples are a popular image and I liked the juicy turquoise ground and loose rendering of the fabric above. I loved the sunny yellow ground of the origami birds below, with the odd addition of pink to break it up.

Another sunny fabric is this blossom design below. You can't get much brighter than this yellow and red combination which has touches of gold in the centre of the flowers. It will work well on both clutch bags and cosmetic bags and I see a vibrant red lining working very well with this design.

This cat fabric below was a must. Cats are very popular and this fabric would be fab made up into cosmetic bags and coin purses, or even a tote bag. Here and there is a silhouette in gold.

On top of finding new designs, I also like to buy more of the designs that have been popular for me. One of those is the stork fabric below that I have used for clutch bags and cosmetic bags in the past. It's a furoshiki fabric and is a lovely graphic design of storks in flight. I will use a red lining to match the red of the stork's beaks.

The other fabric I often pick up is a furoshiki fabric with happi coats on. It's such a typical Japanese image depicted in a very fun, graphic way. This will also have a red lining.

Along with a number of stunning obi fabrics I bought, which I mentioned in a blog post while I was there, I also bought some pretty vintage kimono fabrics. These are much finer and softer than the obi fabrics and have a totally different feel. I tend to home in on the vibrantly-coloured kimono fabrics and this one below is such a fun one in vibrant reds, greens and purples, using traditional stylised images of chrysanthemums and leaves.

The kimono piece below is slightly more subdued for me, but I loved the design and combination of flowers and bamboo.

On top of the multi coloured kimono fabrics, I also like the black and white versions and picked up two pieces that I liked. The stylised chrysanthemum is a nice allover design and I like the touches of orange and mustard in the centre of the flower here and there. The butterflies would work well with a contrasting colour, maybe a vibrant obi fabric?! Watch this space.....

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