A Very Old Double Ikat that I Treasure

This is a fragment of a cotton Japanese summer kimono called a Yukata. I must have gotten it at a flea market in Japan. The cloth is 13” wide, selvedge to selvedge—the common width for many Japanese textiles. The length of the piece is 48”. It is so soft to handle that I’m loving handling it again for this post.


The reason I’m thinking is it a piece of a Yukata is there is an area where the cloth hasn’t faded over time. It probably was inside the area around the front opening.


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It is so soft because it is extremely worn. In fact it has holes in it where the cloth wore out. It is almost tissue paper thin. This cloth was salvaged and re-useable because another fabric was added as a backing.


The indigo dyed cotton backing is also what makes it have a lovely body as well as being so soft.


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The entire piece and I assume the entire yukata was stitched to attach the backing and back the holes. The rows of stitching are consistently ¼” apart. The stitching and the ikat pattern work beautifully together, I think, which is another reason I love the piece.


I was showing it to a friend and she immediately thought it was a lovely piece even though she is not a textile person. The more I looked and talked with her, I began to think about the double ikat pattern. It isn’t precise like in my previous posts. I think the cloth was dyed, woven, and re-purposed by a farmer’s wife. Cathy and I visited maybe the last farmer’s wife to grow and dye her own indigo in Japan. Traditionally, the women would grow the indigo and weave the family’s cloth while the farmers tended the fields—could be rice paddies.

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I love the hit and miss of the warp and weft pattern yet the tiny areas of the threads in the pattern cross exactly in the right places throughout. Once in awhile I could find where the weft ikat pattern really crossed the warp in the right place. This close-but-not- exact gives a real soul to the cloth, I think. It made me think of the woman planting and growing the indigo plants. Then making her vat not with heat, but with cold water. Her son told us that to make the ash for the alkali, they burned the wood for two months which kept them home. Then she tied the warp threads and the weft threads in the ikat pattern. Then the threads would be dyed in the indigo vat and finally woven. I doubt that she minded that the pattern wasn’t precise and thought it was fine the way the threads hit pretty much perfectly. I wonder if the original cloth was a futon cover—a larger piece—or was it always meant to be fabric for a yukata. After the weaving, would be the hand sewing. When washing, the pieces would be taken apart and then put back together again. Probably there were many washings before the cloth was stitched so carefully to the handwoven backing cloth.


I’m making a scroll with the fabric so that I can have it out to look at. The soul of it touches me. I’ve pinned the pieces on top of the fabric for now, but I think I’ll move them up higher.


The Biggest Bag of All Bags:

I guess I am addicted to bags. This huge bag is from Japan. The silk farmers carried the cocoons to the co-op in them. I got it at the antique textile shop in Tokyo.


It’s made of paper. I loved the texture.


I noticed some patches that were made.


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I think the paper is made of a variety of fibers because of the variety of shades of white.


The back had this seal on it.


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This is India, but I used to have a photo of a Japanese man lugging a bag like mine full of cocoons over his shoulder. But this gives a sense of the size and the number of small cocoons it must hold.


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BIG BAGS INTERRUPTION!

An Issey Miyake Bag Discovered in My Cupboard!

Introduction:
I watched Yoshiko Wada and Anna Lisa Hedstrom’s seminar, Conversations with Cloth this afternoon. It was the third session. There are more to come and they are wonderful and full of inspiration. And they can be streamed. The topic was Itajime—Clamp resist and there was a discussion about 3 dimensional ideas and Issey Miyake. I sat up and said to myself, “Where is my Issey Miyake bag? It would be perfect as a post in my series on bags!” He has designed clothes that fold down flat and open out in dramatic three dimension. We go there every time we are in Tokyo and before we get there, I think that maybe this time I will buy something. Then I see everything is way too much drama and way too much money and leave empty handed. But I’ve left filled with great pleasure at seeing gorgeous and ingenious art to wear.

The last time they had this small bag, and I am glad I got it. I treasure it but keep it wrapped in its original tissue hidden away in a drawer in my big tansu chest.


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Here is the other side.


It is flat but opens out in folds. I wanted to take the photo before opening it out in case I couldn’t get it folded flat again.


Here I began to open it out. It was mentioned that there is a YouTube video about Miyake’s folded things.

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Here it is opened out with its handles. They can be long or short, depending if you want to wear it over the shoulder or like Queen Elizabeth.


Another open view. I carried it at a family wedding once.


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Here it is flattened again. I made it! I think I’ll keep it out for a while to enjoy it.


Bigger Bags

This post is about larger totes I’ve brought home with an astounding photo at the end of a woven-resist kasuri fabric. This bag came from Japan. It’s made of paper rice bags. A similar technique was use by a friend of mine using grocery bags she tore into various shapes. She covered her kitchen floor with them. It’s really beautiful as well as practical. I have no idea how the paper is treated.


This tote bag was made in the Philippines and is a great size and shape for file folders, etc. The weave is strong, but the bag is padded which is a good idea. Plus, it has a nice lining with a pocket or two on the inside. It really holds its shape no matter what’s inside.


This bag shows a traditional pattern made on the island Amami Oshima between the Islands of Kyushu and Okinawa in Japan. This pattern is found on busses, post boxes, and shopping bags all over the island. However, no one knows about the weaving itself or the technique. The ikat resist is done by weaving. More for the last photo.


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The strap is attached on one side of the bag so the top can be folded down to make the bag smaller. I think this is a great idea.


On the other side of the bag the strap is attached further down so the bag can work even smaller. Notice the snap. That holds the folded part down on the inside.


Here is the black side at it’s smallest height with the strap attached at that level.

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Here is the patterned side when the bag is folded down to it’s shortest. I would say it’s made of a canvas fabric with the pattern printed on.


Here is a piece of the real woven cloth. Not a traditional pattern, but contemporary. Look at the detail. Every warp and weft thread is tied for the ikat process by being woven into a thick mat. Then the mat is unwoven and put on a loom to weave the pattern. The cloth is known as Oshima in the textile world. Cathy and I went there specially to see it and we spent two days with a guide going to several places to see both the resist mats and the silk cloth being woven. Interesting enough, our guide knew nothing about any of this until he researched it for our visit. We were happy to see how impressed he was. We found two little shops that sold the fabrics in pieces and by the meter so we could bring home good memories. This piece is a part of a scroll that I put together on a cloth from a Kyoto fabric shop.

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Slow Fiber Studios Presents ~ Conversations with Cloth

A note from Peggy…

“I have absolutely loved every one of the many workshops I’ve taken with Slow Fibers Studios. Check out the video and you’ll see why. The workshops are deep in many ways: culturally, artistically, and creatively. I’ve taken classes with both Yoshiko Wada (and taken trips with her) and Ana Lisa Hedstrom and they always give a wealth of information as well as the tools to understand how to make things. I find each one has inspired me and Yoshiko has praised me for being “uniquely creative”. Whether you want to make your own creations, become more knowledgeable, or love seeing wonderful textiles, this is the place for you. Yoshiko and Ana Lisa’s depth can’t be surpassed. Yoshiko wrote the big book on shibori—in fact, she re-introduced shibori to the Japanese themselves. Ana Lisa’s fashions sell at Bergdorf’s in New York and are wearable with great pride and pleasure in the Bay Area as well—timeless, unique, stunning. Her creations are truly  conversations with cloth. I own two stunning, unique pieces that I wear to the fanciest places as well as on just nice occasions.


Conversations with Cloth

A four-part presentation on SHIBORI hosted by 
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada with Ana Lisa Hedstrom

STREAMING SERIES ON ZOOM
10/28, 11/18, 12/9, 1/6

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Conversations with Cloth – Fall/Winter 2020 Series Teaser from Slow Fiber Studios on Vimeo.

Conversations are streamed talks with esteemed textile artists and artisans, specialists, scholars in the field of textile art including in shibori, natural dyes, sashiko and quilt, weaving, fashion and costumes, delivered through Zoom webinar. 

The program will be interactive with Q&A after each presentation/conversation. We welcome participants to forward questions in advance using the online form

You may sign-up for the full streaming series at a discount or pick and choose episodes to attend. If you miss a specific episode you registered and still wish to see it later, we will send recordings for you to watch, for two weeks after the event date.

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Guest Presenter: Ana Lisa Hedstrom

Ana Lisa is known for her signature textiles based on contemporary adaptations of shibori. Her textiles are included in the collections of museums such as the Cooper Hewitt, the Museum of Art and Design, the De Young and her work has been exhibited internationally. She has taught and lectured at numerous international Shibori conferences and schools, her awards include two NEA grants, and she is a fellow of the ACC.

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Host: Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada

Yoshiko I. Wada is an artist, curator, and textile scholar, president of World Shibori Network, founder of SFS, producer of the Natural Dye Workshop series, and co-chair of the 1st – 11th International Shibori Symposia. She is the author of pioneering publications on kasuri and shibori. Today she continues to lead a wide range of workshops, lectures, tours, and symposia internationally, emphasizing sustainability & tradition.

Stitched Shibori: Part One – How one artisan created his stitch resist shibori fabric

Introduction:
Some years ago Yoshiko Wada’s Japan Textile tour took us to a quaint town of Arimatsu (near Nagoya). We went there because it is known for making shibori patterned fabrics. Shibori is a little like tie dye and can be very complex. One small factory used stitching on a sewing machine to create the resist patterns. I imagine the fabric was a supple white silk. Long (11 yards) strips of paper like pellon were clamped on top of accordion-pleated fabric. Then the long, thick bundle was stitched in a pattern on the sewing machine. After stitching, the bundle was dyed. When the paper and stitching were removed the pattern remained white where the stitching had been and resisted the dye. I became more interested in the technique than the result and asked if there were any of the discarded papers around. And a carton of them was brought down from a high shelf.

This post relates to a previous post with stitching as the resist.

I brought home a roll of the stitched paper that was discarded after dyeing.  The paper was folded lengthwise for strength then clamped to the cloth. You can see that one half is darker and more distinct because that was the side on the outside of the fold. And that is where the stitching and dye were the most prominent. buy zoloft online https://medstaff.englewoodhealth.org/wp-content/languages/new/zoloft.html no prescription


The holes where the machine stitching was are clearly visible.

This was a traditional design. The white spot is where one of the clips held the paper to the fabric. Since the paper is 11 yards long, that would be the length of the cloth that was stitched and then dyed. The fabric had been accordion-pleated down to the narrow width of the folded paper to 1 ¾” wide. buy zovirax online https://medstaff.englewoodhealth.org/wp-content/languages/new/zovirax.html no prescription


Here is a simulation of the paper on white fabric and shows where the stitching had been before dyeing.

A little fan was made with some “discarded” paper.

Off Again: to Japan


Here are all the places we plan to visit together. I am going again with my friend Cathy Cerny. She has done all the planning just like in many previous trips. I counted 9 hotels in 21 days so we’ll be moving right along. I hope I can do a post every day! – Click photos to enlarge –

Our first trip is a flight to Amami Island to the town of Oshima. (it is way south and off my map.) We want to see a particular type of ikat called orijimi. The resist is done on a loom forming a mat with the ikat warps or wefts to be woven in. Then the mat is unwoven to reveal the resisted places (dots) where the warps on the original weaving resisted the dye. The dye is also a special mud dye from the area. Oshima fabrics are expensive and have been imitated. We will look at the selvedges to see the tiny white dots to be sure we are getting the true orijimi technique. A friend and expert sent me this precious fragment so we would know what to look for.

A Show Not to Miss – The Catherine Cerny Collection


Do not miss this show in Davis, California. It features textiles from the collection of my travel partner, Cathy Cerny. UC Davis Design Museum, Cruess Hall, September 24 to December 9, 2018. See hours on the invitation image. Closed on Saturday.

Here is Cathy in the entrance to the show featuring her textiles from Japan. The show is absolutely wonderful.

The show is about techniques used in Japanese textiles. It is beautiful.

Not only beautifully done but also informative with cases of samples and tools.

Here is Cathy with Alicia Decker, the curator (center) and Bronte Blanco, the designer of the show.

Here I am with Cathy and two friends that came from Japan just for the opening of the exhibition.

Jacket to be shared!


Here’s the jacket–Cathy Cerny and I are sharing it. I have the summer when I go to Japan and Cathy has the fall when her exhibition opens in the fall. After that we’ll dicide how the sharing will go. Neither one of us could bear to part with it. buy remeron online https://bethanyhealthcare.org/wp-content/languages/new/remeron.html no prescription


Here’s a map of where I’ll be for the 11th International Shibori Symposium. I’ll begin around June 23rd or so. Bye for now!  buy sinequan online https://bethanyhealthcare.org/wp-content/languages/new/sinequan.html no prescription

My Gift for Japanese Artisans


In Japan, one always gives a gift when visiting someone. When we visited an artisan or maker, we always gave our more “important” gifts.

Our guide took us to visit Kubota-san in Kyoto, a stencil dyer. We had a lovely time visiting after seeing his studio where they were printing a kimono-length piece of cloth. When I gave him a silk handkerchief I dyed after folding it an interesting way and then doing arashi-shibori (pole dyeing) in my indigo vat. He was pleased and immediately put it into his pocket!  I had been worried that it wasn’t useful, just a unique piece of silk!

My Furoshikis


This is the way Japanese often wrap things. I realized I had a little collection and displayed them in the window of our gift shop. I use them often when carrying things. The big one is really useful for carrying things to a pot luck. I also am using it now while carrying my work back and forth from the studio. I think I bought them when I just liked the cloth. Often the cloth is two-faced—that is, woven with two different colors or patterns on a single piece of cloth. Most are crepe—they stretch so nicely to tie.

They are easy to tie this way. You just set the object diagonally on the cloth and tie the opposite corners in a knot. The knotted ends form the handle for carrying. I have seen several books with different ways to wrap things with a furoshiki—even a wine bottle!

My first one is the big one given to me when we visited a stencil dyer long ago—in 1967. I’ve never found that dyer on all the trips I’ve made after that.

At a flea market I found the tiny ones—couldn’t bargain the seller down! One we bought at a sale in a department store. I’d seen one for a hundred dollars in a special natural dye shop. At the sale I got it for a “song” after pawing my way through a pile of furoshikis along with other women looking for bargains. 

A Fantastic Kasuri Fabric

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Click any photo to enlarge

shoji-yamamura-tying-threadsWhile in Kyushu Island south of the main island of Japan near the town of Karume is a distinguished master craftsman kasuri dyer. Kasuri is a form of ikat and can be warp-wise or weft-wise. The threads are dyed in a pattern then put on the loom and woven. Here is a photo of Shoji Yamamura tying threads to make a pattern. Then the threads are dyed with indigo for the traditional blue and white kasuri fabrics we know. We bought one of his gorgeous pieces–a length of cloth for a kimono with the idea of splitting up the piece when we got home. 

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On a Saturday afternoon the three of us met to divide the fabric–over 15 yards.

Here one third has been cut off and we are about to cut off the second piece.

 

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This is my piece and I love it more each day as it hangs on my wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the end piece– it’s the signature of the weaver and is woven at the beginning of the length of cloth. Note that the unwoven area shows the ikat pattern that was tied in the threads.  Also notable is the dyeing of the warp stripes–a specialty of this artist.

My Japan Weaving Tour – Day 1

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Day 1. Our trip to Chichibu to see Meisen weaving. This is outside the weaving shop. The man is the weaver. His mother made most of the delicious food which we ate with our tea after seeing everything and shopping.

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The looms! It always thrills me to see the looms. These were powered by the belts and pulleys overhead.

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For the Meisen technique the pattern is printed on the warp before weaving. Here you can see the supply of warp on the roller that shows the printed warp. The two layers in the photo show the printed warp threads more closely.

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On this loom every other thread goes over the rod. This distorts the pattern or shifts the pattern a bit so that an image can overlap itself. Instead of a simple circle a second circle overlaps the original one in the finished design.

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Here the weaver is explaining the printing process on the long printing table. Woven scarves are displayed overhead.

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This is a warp that has been printed on. It will be put into the back of a loom and then will be woven. This is a very special technique done in this village in the mountains outside Tokyo. I bought the beautiful blue and white silk scarf seen at the edge of the photo.

I’m off to Japan on my Weaving Tour

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Arrived in Tokyo at 4:00AM so stayed in this deluxe capsule hotel at Hamada Airport. There was room for my big suitcase thank goodness. We will be in Japan for three weeks.


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And room to stretch out and watch TV. No TV for me. The space cost around $30 for 3 hours and was really comfortable.


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This is what the regular price capsule looked like. Bathroom and shower were down a hall along with a Japanese bath big enough for 4 people. It was a glorious way to begin our first day.

My Textile Treasures

People have asked me why I am buying something on a trip and what am I going to do with it? My answer has been (to myself) “to have it”. I got inspired to really put away my textiles honorably when I visited a friend I met on the Philippines trip. Here is the result.

Japanese fragments & piece from an obi made of cocoons. Old blouse from Philippines, white wool piece with henna from Morocco, old tape loom. (I had the bars put up when I moved in 6 years ago.)
Japanese fragments & piece from an obi made of cocoons. Old blouse from Philippines, white wool piece with henna from Morocco, old tape loom. (I had the bars put up when I moved in 6 years ago.)

Textiles on shelves and in drawers in sideboard.
Textiles on shelves and in drawers in sideboard.

Blouse from Philippines, belt from Morocco, under kimono from Japan, narrow pieces from Japan, ikat hanging by me.
Blouse from Philippines, belt from Morocco, under kimono from Japan, narrow pieces from Japan, ikat hanging by me.

Drawers in tansu with scarves. Other places for my pj's, etc.
Drawers in tansu with scarves. Other places for my pj’s, etc.

Scarves in drawers of tansu chest. I need discipline to put them away after wearing them.
Scarves in drawers of tansu chest. I need discipline to put them away after wearing them.

Japanese things. Ceremonial kimono with fireflies design, obi made with fan reed, tea pot with fish lever to adjust height. Art piece by Adela Akers.
Japanese things. Ceremonial kimono with fireflies design, obi made with fan reed, tea pot with fish lever to adjust height. Art piece by Adela Akers.

Case with earrings and hair pieces from the Philippines. combs from India, Collage by Milton Sonday, textile art by Adela Akers. Japanese sake bottle and vase.
Case with earrings and hair pieces from the Philippines. combs from India, Collage by Milton Sonday, textile art by Adela Akers. Japanese sake bottle and vase.

Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 7

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Oragami
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A sign at Narita airport. It's a huge place; we easily spent 4 hours wandering around the shops.

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There was a fantastic origami shop with wonderful things people made.

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Here's Cathy having fun with her new friend ST Narita airport.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 6

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Japan Books
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Cathy, my travel partner, gets us where we want to go on the subway trains.

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Cathy looking through a pile of textiles.

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Yasukuni Shrine is big and in the city.

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One of the beautiful buildings at the shrine.

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We stopped for cakes at a pop up cafe in the Mitsukoshi department store. We got one of each and split them. Yum.

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The books I found at the flea market. Greatly cheaper than the one I bought at an antique shop the other day.

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I don't know what this is. It came folded up inside the envelope in the photo. I love the colors of the paper.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 5

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
J&P Weaving Tour 2016

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Typical subway scene. Note that one (older) person actually had a book.

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This is a huge Apple Store in this trendy section.

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Each cafe was unique.

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This small kimono shop had kimonos as well as lots of fabrics from old kimonos as you can see in the next photo.

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Inside the kimono shop in the Omote Sando area.

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This looked like s good place for cake and coffee after our shopping at Morito.

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We stopped here for our cake fix. There were lots and lots of places and they all seemed crowded at 5:00.

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The "cake" actually a delicious mousse.

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Our view while having the cake. All the designers were there with large places.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 4

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
J&P Weaving Tour 2016

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Day 4. This is the view on the way back to our hotel from breakfast.

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Our second stop tardy was this wonderful small museum. This is a place we visit on every trip.

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The map shows the northern part of India where the woolen textiles were from– part of the Himalayas.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 3

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
J&P Weaving Tour 2016

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We saw some snow around Kawagoe.

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Another nice building.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 2

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Instagram ClipMy blog, Facebook, Instagram and email notices are not behaving well together so if you are viewing this in FACEBOOK just click the post text to see the full post (with photos) on my blog. 
If you are viewing this in an EMAIL just click the post title to see the full post on my blog.

The pagoda is part of the shrine in Asakusa.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Japan Day 1

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.


Another Issey Miyake shop just had his famous pleated thing. This is just one example.

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Inside Morita shop

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Our glorious treat. They are open until 7:30 which was perfect.

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Where we had our treat it was dark when we were there for " dinner".

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My big treasure. An old kimono worn as underwear. The patches are the way it was designed originally

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A little pile of silk crepe from old kimonos. I will cut them up if I dare to. The end of my first days treasures

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Off Again on a Weaving Tour

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I’m leaving in the morning for a trip for a week in Tokyo on the way to a two-week textile tour: The Textile Arts and Traditions of the Philippines, sponsored by the Textile Arts Council of the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. The week in Tokyo my friend Cathy and I will just go to our favorite places, including the antique stores where I found the old books where I’ve gotten pages for my art work. We are going to a special flea market and to our favorite antique textile shops. 
I’ll post on  my Instagram account “peggyoster“, 2 to 4 photos a day (I hope). And my web guy will combine those in a daily post on my website for my almost 500!! (493) subscribers who get email notices of my website posts.
I am eager to see pineapple fiber fabric and I hope I can bring home some. It should be fascinating to see how it is made. We’ll be flying a lot to get to various islands so it will really be interesting to see what “the Philippines” really is like.