Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeling Crafty? Ryu Japan Update

Attention crafters! Ryu Japan, online kimono and fabric dealer, updated today with 30 different kimono and haori (kimono coat) bolts.

Called "tanmono" 反物, these bolts are very narrow from a Western point of view, measuring only around 14 inches wide. However, they tend to be quite long (the kimono ones around 13 yards), and the fabric silk, wool, cotton or synthetic.

If you're interested in buying one, be aware that, depending on the type of kimono it was intended for, there may be stretches of solid color between the patterns. Small, repeating patterns like this, or ones labeled for "komon" or "yukata" kimono will be continuous. Photos showing a large single image may have blank areas on the bolt, as will ones for "houmongi", "tsukesage" or "(kuro) tomesode". Technically, tomesode is any kind of kimono for a married woman, but a couple of Ebay sellers seem to use it when they mean the most formal one, called a kurotomesode.

Anyway, what could you make with one of these endless rolls of crafty goodness?

-A set of throw pillows
-Handbags or totes
-Table runners, one for yourself and others as gifts
-A set of wall hangings
-A skirt or short dress
-A kimono (definitely not easy, but it is what they're designed for!)

The neat thing about kimono fabrics is that you don't often see repeats over time: while certain motifs are definitely repeated, the smaller size of the industry keeps individual bolts and kimono fairly unique.

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