In my spare time I like making soft furnishing from Japanese silks. It’s my way of introducing a bit of Japan into homes around the world — I have filled orders from the United States and Ireland, as well as the United Kingdom.
My table/bed runners, wall hangings, and cushions are made from the “obi,” which is part of the Japanese kimono. The obi is wound around the waist several times, is made of very heavy silk, and often elaborately embroidered.
I lived full-time in Japan for 15 years, and now split my time between Cirencester and Japan. When in Japan I am mainly in the Tohoku region, assisting with the recovery of a tsunami-affected area. I became inspired when making my wedding dress from a kimono I found in a small antique shop in the area. I now source these obi from the same shop — I like to support the local businesses as they rebuild.
Kimono and obi are traditionally made entirely by hand, and I have retained as much of the original stitching as possible, as well as added my own hand-stitching, keeping machine work to a minimum. Each obi is unique — you will not find another one like it anywhere. Runner/hanging lengths vary, as do the prices, depending on the weight of the silk, and the intricacy of the embroidery.
If you have a specific colour in mind, please enquire, and I will be happy to look for an obi for you during my next trip to Japan. These unique soft furnishings make wonderful gifts, and very special additions to any home, whilst simultaneously support a community in recovery. And the cushions and runners that are made from wedding obi make very special wedding presents that can be treasured forever.