Travel Japan — Weavers

10 Nov

One of the first things I did in Japan was visit two weavers.

Kawamura-Orimono Co. Ltd., Hand woven obi shop.

The first owner at this shop showed me some of their beautiful work.

And from the back.

The weaver only sees the back as he works.

My back gets tired when I sew a long time. These men weave all day and their backs were very supple. My tour guide translator said they do it in a zen-like relaxed way.

Some of their thread.

The royal family in Japan is a customer of theirs.


Across the street we visited another weaver.

The owner of this shop showed us a photo of a woven waterfall that he created. He said it was very challenging to make, but he loves waterfalls. It is on exhibit. Just seeing the photo of it, I was enchanted. And alas I don’t have a picture of it to show you.

The top of the loom is similar to a computer punch card system.

This weaver gave me this skein of silk warp thread. He said it takes 10,000 threads for the width of an obi.

I have to think of something special to use this for. I love to feel it. I’m thinking of crocheting it around my geta straps. I have to buy men’s geta because my feet are bigger than Japanese woman’s shoes. I wear size 8 US. The straps are not pretty like on the woman’s.

In this picture below the black and gold fabric around my waist and hanging down my back is an obi. This is NOT a handwoven one.

I have a new appreciation for people who do hand weaving.


Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Abundance, Japan


Tags: , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Travel Japan — Weavers

  1. Erin @ Mommy on the Spot

    November 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Incredible! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Noemi

    November 11, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Wow – so interesting and beautiful!

  3. purplume

    November 11, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Thanks Erin and Noemi.
    Japan is nothing if not interesting
    and beautiful
    and unique.
    I guess don’t get me started.

  4. Pepper Smith

    November 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    How interesting that they work those patterns on the back side of the fabric like that. I suppose in a way that’s a bit like writing. We know the insides of the story, and the reader only sees the finished product.

    That wall of thread storage is almost a work of art in itself.

    I really like the bamboo picture you have on the side of your blog. Of course, we grew up with the neighbor’s bamboo grove encroaching on my parents’ back yard, so I may just be predisposed to like bamboo…

    • purplume

      November 16, 2010 at 10:42 am

      It’s interesting
      to me Pepper how you compare writing to weaving. It is true isn’t it – especially a mystery?

      The wall of thread is beautiful. They have it in their lobby. That way I suppose it’s functional too to show customers specific colors.

      Interesting how that bamboo picture happened. I tried to upload a photo of me in Geisha dress in the upper right. I just left it until I have time to figure out how to re size it. I love bamboo too.

      • Pepper Smith

        November 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

        Yeah, every character, every plot and sub-plot in a story is a thread that has to be woven into the whole. Some show up only as a spot of color, and others run the whole length of the fabric. As a whole, they make a design that we present to the reader, one that is hopefully both pleasing and memorable. For mysteries, we have to be sure the thread that solves the puzzle is always there but not disguised in a way that doesn’t give it away too soon.

        LOL! Oh, and I was talking about purple prose in that entry. Wordy characters are another thing–it’s part of the character’s personality.

        • Pepper Smith

          November 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

          Gah! I should proofread before I hit the post button. Pretend the ‘not’ before disguised isn’t there.

  5. Jen C.

    November 12, 2010 at 2:34 am

    I absolutely love handwoven Japanese fabric! I’ve never seen someone handweaving before but it looks really interesting. It’s cool that you got a skein of silk warp thread. I wonder what that feels like. Must be very soft and delicate! Glad to hear that you had such an interesting trip!

    • purplume

      November 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

      It is so soft Jen. In reality I could just use it to hold and enjoy the feel.

  6. Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds

    November 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Those are gorgeous. What interesting places to visit!

    • purplume

      November 16, 2010 at 10:50 am

      Thanks Joey. Yes I am so grateful that Esprit shares their knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture.


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