October 26, 2009

Maria and Janne

We have welcomed two foreign students this October. Maria from Sweden, and Janne from Finland.

This past week they have been studying the Nassen technique, where a brush is used to rub dye into the warp.

A visit to the Kawashima Textile factory and museum.

For me it was a very interesting tour to the Kawashima Factory because I found out that the factory covers so many things. The museum with the interesting history of the factory, the old preserved knowledge and high skills in restoration work and the assignments in that area that the factory is being given and trusted, to the handwoven suberb brocades as well as new developments in design.

I specifically was very happy to get to see the brocade weavers in action, having the weave almost covered by shuttles in so many colours I couldn’t even count them! Then in another room I was impressed by complicated thin warps with goldthreads as well as really nice velvet weaves – and I was also very surprised to see a 24 metre wide loom!   -Maria

Maria will be staying with us for one month, and Janne for two and a half months.

Handdukar from Sweden!

Kerstin, who studied here with us from April to July this year, sent us these beautiful "handdukar (dishcloths)" from Sweden! These were made by her great-grandmother and grandmother. Kerstin also made a tenugui -a Japanese handcloth, here as well.

"This is Stina Ericsson, my 86 year old grandmother, living in Sweden. In Sweden we use special towels for the kitchen to dry up the dishes. Linen towels are particularly useful for finer glass to get them clear and shiny. Nowadays they are usually made of cotton, which has the same quality as Japanese tenugui, but back in the days, we used high quality towels made of linen. My grandmother and mother wove their own towels, and they still use them. And I also do!
It was also common that the bride made towels embroidered with the couples' initials The better she was doing embroidery the more exclusive the techniques were. We also had special linen closets to store the towels, bed linen and textiles."

Kerstin's tenugui, using the kasuri technique.

We would like to thank Kerstin and her family for sharing these precious items with us. Tack så mycket!