Wednesday, October 8, 2014

tenugui and furoshiki...


One of the few downsides of the internet is a degree of sameness when it comes to fabric. All the collections are available everywhere all the time. In the solely bricks and mortar era of retail, going to a fabric shop always had a degree of mystery because what you found was so dependent on the owner's personal taste, interests and even geography. In the pursuit of different material, thrift shopping for men's shirts and unusual prints can be rewarding but this has also become more difficult as everybody else seems to be doing the same...

So over time, I've been collecting Japanese tenugui and furoshiki which are cotton hand towels and wrapping cloths to make things with. They are generally about 15" by 36" and 16" by 16" respectively and are printed with the most interesting patterns. The weave of the tenugui is a little looser than quilting fabric somewhat like a bandana. On the lighter colored ones you can spray baste some white voile with temporary adhesive on the back to give the fabric a bit more body while sewing. When my brother lived in Japan, these fabrics were free;) but now excluding the incredibly fast and inexpensive shipping, they generally start at around $3 and up each on Ebay. A quick search comes up with these and these beautiful cloths...


My most recent favourite is this sushi towel. If I was ever reincarnated as an animal I would love to be a seal. There are few better things I can think of than living on a diet of raw fish:). Now your turn, what other sources of cool textiles are out there? Where do you find your fabric? Please tell...


6 comments:

  1. You get the prize for finding the coolest fabric! I've sent you a photo of a pojagi made of old Japanese dishtowels by Junko Maeda.

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    1. Thanks LeeAnn. Am a little worried that at this rate I'm going to win the prize for the most fabric:( Thank you too for the image- That pojagi is amazing!

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  2. Those are some beautiful finds!
    I love to go to thrift stores and antique stores to find some good vintage fabrics. Some of the quilts shows around here also carry some good vintage finds.

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    1. You are so lucky to still find good fabrics in your thrift stores. Someone suggested garage sales but am not sure if I have the will:)

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  3. LOVE THESE!!! I'm with Pinkadot - I love thrift stores for fabric finds. I also love antique shops for vintage fabric finds as well as unfinished blocks and tops. I'd love to become a fabric hunter when I travel, but you know that story ;)

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    1. Well I need to go thrifting in your neck of the woods. I suspect you'll become the international fabric hunter you want to be soon:)

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