I had a phase a few years ago when I suddenly became incredibly enthusiastic about Japanese fabrics. In fact that was how my patchworking hobby began: I saw some fabulously beautiful kimono fabrics that an Australian girl I knew had received from back home for her patchwork project. Although I had never patchworked before, I instantly knew I wanted to make a similar project.
As I know many craft people love Japanese fabrics, I thought this week I’d write a few blog posts my Japanese phase: about the fabrics I bought and what I made from them. This first post, though, is about a few vital lessons I learned along the way.
Having done some googling on the topic, my first lot of fabrics came from a UK based online fabric shop. With lots of enthusiasm, I ordered a bundle of what was described as “Japanese fabrics” as well as a few fat quarters and charm packs.
With the benefit of hindsight, I now know I should have spent a bit more time with Google first. When the fabrics arrived, I was disappointed – they weren’t anything like the fabrics my friend had showed me. Although some of them were beautiful enough, they didn’t have the subtlety and charm of my friend’s fabrics. They were very bright, most of them had lots of gold on them, and texture was really artificial and plasticky.
I learned a couple of things from that experience. Firstly, I haven’t bought any fabric bundles or charm packs since then. I’m far too picky about my fabrics and will probably just end up disappointed. And secondly, there are quite a few different kinds of “Japanese fabrics” out there on the craft market, and some of them are (I’m guessing) Japanese-style fabrics aimed at Western patchworkers, rather than authentic fabrics from Japan.
My second purchase was much more successful, but that will be the topic of my next post…