Japanese vintage: Let the Textile Decide……

Heather and I feel in love with Japanese vintage textiles when we discovered them at a market in Melbourne. We were mesmerized by the craftsmanship involved in the weaving, dying and painting of the traditional designs and motifs. Not to mention the luxurious feel and the look of the textiles. We both knew we had to start working with these Japanese vintage fabrics, and Wabi Sabi Designz was created.

Then came the decision of what to use the textiles for – and we discovered that was rather easy!!  Heather and I would look at the textile (and of course, like true textile lovers, feel it) and find that ideas come to us immediately of what could be created.  The Wabi Sabi Designz range of products, stem from what the fabric tells us to make rather than the other way around.

Japanese Vintage Meisen Silk

For example, we had this wonderful piece of meisen silk from a vintage kimono (circa 1960’s).  Heather and I knew immediately that we wanted to make a simple dress which would highlight the colourful retro inspired design. We combined the meisen silk panel with a vintage black kimono silk as a contrast. Using meisen silk for the neck and armhole binding also. The result: a striking and elegant Japanese vintage dress!

Japanese vintage textiles: Sabi Silk Dress

Japanese Vintage: Sabi Silk Dress

Japanese Vintage Yukata Cotton

We used a Japanese vintage yukata cotton (1950’s-1980’s) which featured an unusual design of fruits (pineapple, papaya and banana) on a dark green background; to create a table runner. Why? – this fabric screamed to us “table runner, table runner for an outdoor or BBQ“. Other than cushions to complement the table setting, nothing else has ever come to mind.  The vibrant lime green lining on the table runner gives it zing!

 Japanese vintage textiles: Yukata Cotton Table Runner

Japanese Vintage Yukata Cotton Table Runner

Japanese Vintage Kimono Wool

Kimono wool has presented us with a number of ideas for its use in clothing and the modern home. Kimono wool is light, soft to the touch and features wonderfully creative designs, in beautiful colours. In the photos below, you can see how we have used these fabrics to allow the intricacies of each textile to shine through; by using simple design techniques.


 Japanese vintage textiles: Wool Bolero

Japanese vintage Wool Bolero


 Japanese vintage textiles: "Wabi Autumn Leaves" Kimono Wool Throw

“Wabi Autumn Leaves” Kimono Wool Throw


The ethos behind Wabi Sabi Designz is:

“From something old, something new and beautiful emerges….”

By allowing the textiles to talk to us about the direction of our designs and creations, we are holding true to this value: Wabi Sabi

Author : Yvonne

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