Thursday, 13 November 2008

a little piece of vintage japan

I've stumbled upon something lovely via the internet. A place called Sri Threads in Brooklyn which is a little bit of vintage Japan and India. The image above is from an early 20th century sample book of silk screen textile prints.

This one is an "old sample book which shows 68 different samples of silk dyed with individual samples of 'komon' or the small figured patterns" which were very common in the late 18th century through to the mid 19th century. Each design was made by screen printing through a hand cut paper stencil. The stencils themselves are gorgeous. I have 2 paper stencils used for printing kimono textile designs framed in my house which I bought from a temple market in Kyoto about 5 years ago. This process is no longer used for patterning textiles in Japan as things have become quite high tech these days.

This little piece of antique stitched fabric is a repaired early to mid 20th century sake straining bag. Yes, that's right - used to strain sake in the process of making it! These bags are known as sakabukuro and are apparently very collectible items. This one has been repaired in 11 different places and stained with green persimmon tannin.

For more gorgeous vintage textile wonders visit Sri Threads. Or if you're lucky enough to live in Brooklyn or Manhattan they're physically located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn so you can even check out their textiles in person.


  1. I love that you have a small piece of an old technique as art. I visited Jim Thompson's house in Bangkok a couple of years back and it was so beautiful and had conserved old methods of silk production, printing and dyeing. I'd live in Bangkok if they'd just let me visit that house every day.

  2. Lovely link! Great stencil inspiration.

  3. Wow, those paper stencils are awesome! Thanks for the info (and for your nice comments on my blog too).