December 18, 2013

Happy Holidays!

We want to share this lovely photo from Sweden! Linnea, who studied here last autumn, made a little bow tie with her leftover fabric from the Foundation Kasuri Course. The fabric is made of tussah silk dyed with tinggi (a kind of mangrove).

We will be closed for winter vacation from Dec. 21 to Jan. 13, 2014. Thank you to everyone who has visited our website, followed us on facebook, and whom we have had the pleasure to meet this year. We are very grateful. We wish you all a lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year!! See you in 2014!

*Our website has been updated with a new design! We hope it has become easier to use and navigate.

November 29, 2013


Rosa, one of our international students, will be hosting a workshop based upon the Japanese weaving technique Kasuri from a Danish perspective. This is next Saturday. Please feel free to join!


WEAVING WORKSHOP, 7th of December 2013, 2-5 PM

The weaving workshop EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT KASURI is based upon the Japanese weaving technique Kasuri, from a Danish perspective.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT KASURI is a result of my stay in Japan. It is a textile interpretation of the amazing meeting of cultures that I have experienced here.

We will use my self-built frame looms at the workshop to make little (15x22cm) woven Kasuri pieces. All the pieces will be exhibited at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in March 2014 together with a book about the project. After the exhibition it is possible to get your self-made piece.

No weaving experience is required. The workshop is free of charge, but please reserve a place. The workshop will be held in English & Japanese. I look forward to hearing from you. Questions or to reserve a spot:

3F Project Room
TNC Blg 3F, 75-6, Yanagihachiman-cho, Yanaginobanba-dori, Oike-sagaru, Nakagyo ward, Kyoto, 604-8101 Japan

September 17, 2013

Patricia Schoeneck

As I Remember It

In my work I have tried to express memories in colours of my time at Kawashima Textile School and in Kyoto. I arrived in May 2012, the sun was warm, the mountains were all so green. I found friends and the Hibiscus was in full bloom. The last week it started to rain but it was still so beautiful and warm.

I wanted to use the kasuri technique that I learned from my Japanese teachers at the same time as I tried to find my own expression. To achieve that I have laborated with colours and shapes. To create depth in the colour of the figures I have dyed the warp and the weft iwth different colours. I choose to work with linen because the fibre is strong and has an interesting structure and shines almost like silk. I like to call it the Nordic Silk.

Patricia Schoeneck (Sweden)

Born in 1980, Stockholm, Sweden
Handarbetets vänners skola, Weaving and embroidery, Stockholm 2010-
Kawashima Textile School, Kasuri foundation and applied I, Kyoto May 2012
Nyckelviksskolan, Textile art and design, Stockholm, 2010
Konstfack, Art teacher education, Stockholm, 2007-2009
Konstskolan i Stockholm, Art foundation studies, 2007
Stockholms Tillskärarakademi, Pattern construction and couture studies, 2006

Patricia was an exchange student from HV Skola (Sweden) and studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I in spring 2012 (She has shared her thirty-two days in Kyoto on her photo blog, trettiotvå i Kyoto!). Patricia worked on this piece that autumn after returning to HV Skola. She will be coming to KTS again in autumn 2013 to study kasuri for another month.

September 11, 2013

Zolie Elf-Åhs

To come and study kasuri and obi weaving at Kawashima Textile School was a dream come true. I have always been interested in Japan, classic Japanese art and textiles, it has been a very important and big part of my art. Even if my style is not so very Japanese.

In my art I work a lot with colors and the viewer’s perception. As an artist it is fun to use complex and time consuming techniques but if the viewer can not appreciate and understand the art itself then the entire process feels unnecessary. I want the viewers to be able to feel something when they see my art. Most of the time I can’t set a word to that feeling but in the same time I can’t decide what the viewer will think of my art. It is just a selfish wish that it will affect someone.

I like using different dyeing techniques, different types of shibori in my art. Color is always the most important thing in my work. It is the colors that set the tone of the piece, which makes it vibrate, stand out and be memorable or forgettable.

It might sound strange but the thing I like the best is when two colors meet and gently blend together. And the fact that you can never know for sure how it will be. Even if you have done everything perfect, pulled all the strings so hard and tight that you possibly can, there will always be that silent moment when you open up the kasuri or shibori. The moment of truth. Did it work? Did it bleed? In that moment you have no control. It seems that in the end it doesn’t really matter if the edges are perfectly straight or not, at least not to me, it is the hard work behind that color meeting that is the most beautiful thing.

from the KTS Graduate Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 2013

It was a wonderful thing to make a real Nagoya obi and play with kasuri. I have never been found of talking about my art, I rather let it speak for itself. But I can say that even I don’t know what that lonely samurai is doing in the night. Is he waiting for someone? Has he killed someone? Or is he just enjoying the blossoming sakura tree in the silent night?

Zolie Elf-Åhs (Sweden)


Zolie was an exchange student from HV Skola (Sweden) and studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in autumn 2012.

September 4, 2013


“Utopic” was my first thought of planning a trip to Japan to study weaving. A year and a half later I was in a taxi, surrounded by steaming mountains in the Ichihara district, driving fast towards the final destination- Kawashima Textile School. The moment I set my feet inside the school, I felt at home. I was greeted with kind hospitality and warm curiosity by everyone- the staff, teachers and students.

After a small tour around the school and dormitory, I discovered that the facilities are not filled with modern machines such as digital looms and devices to spin or dye materials. Instead, I found myself in a school that uses basic traditional tools, has an amazing dyeing kitchen and people whose knowledge about traditional weaving and dyeing became priceless to me. I had amazing tutors who put their heart and soul into teaching us the basics of Kasuri and I have to admit- their patience was remarkable.

Another inspirational aspect of the school was the work ethics. I learned to be more thorough, detailed, organized, and even from the creative point of view my ideas became more well thought through. I enjoyed observing other students’ work processes- especially the ones that were studying kimono weaving, who were faithful to one design for several months.

All my weekends were filled with long bike rides from the dormitory through autumn colors to the center of Kyoto.

I might say that Japan with its rich culture was so inspiring that at one point it became overwhelming for me. That led me to another way of experiencing Japan- by simplifying the information and amazing environment in my head. I think that was the point where I started to understand the soul and philosophy behind Japan, Kyoto, its traditions, and the Kasuri that I was weaving behind the loom.

from the KTS Graduate Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 2013

Working with kasuri was a big challenge for me. But after working with my first samples I started to understand the philosophy behind it. For our individual project I wanted to integrate this technique into my world.

To create two delicate luxurious scarves I used the combination of silkwool and wild silk and only natural dyes. In the first scarf I wanted to use the kasuri for making an optical illusion with the kasuri shape and gradient color mixtures. The second scarf opposes with “fantasy” kasuri, trying to use the strict and traditional technique in a new context. Without no rules or design, this scarf is made by only using my intuition.

The experience of learning traditional Japanese weaving was an influencial and amazing period for me as a young textile designer from Europe.

Johanna (Estonia)


Johanna came to KTS during her fourth year at Kolding School of Design (Denmark), in autumn 2012. She studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course, and Applied Kasuri Course I to III.

July 30, 2013

International Students Course 2014

Natural dyeing in the Beginners Course, spring 2013

The schedule for the International Students Course in 2014 has been announced.

These courses are held twice a year, in spring and autumn (both lovely times to be in Kyoto), and are 10 days minimum. Both beginners and experienced weavers are welcome!

In these courses students focus on Kasuri (ikat), starting with the basics in the Foundation Kasuri Course (10 days). If you would like to study further, you can then experiment with two new kasuri techniques in Applied Kasuri Course I (10 days), and work on your own design in Applied Kasuri Course II and III (10 days minimum). There is also a Beginners Course (12 days) if you are new to weaving.

1) We will no longer be accepting students on a first-come, first-served basis. All eligible applications submitted by the application deadline will be considered.
2) You can now download the application form!

Schedule and Fees
Application Procedure

You can see previous blog posts by students by clicking on the "Student Voice" link on the right.

Thank you so much for those of you who have been waiting. We hope to see many of you in 2014.

July 7, 2013


Tomonobu Ishikawa, Yamato Kohsaku Eshoh

July 7 is Tanabata, the only day in the year that Orihime and her husband Hikoboshi, who are seperated by the milky way, have a chance to meet.

Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (天の川 Milky Way, lit. "heavenly river"). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. 

Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cow Herder Star) (also referred to as Kengyuu (牽牛)) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. 

Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river.

It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.  

-from wikipedia, read more here

To celebrate Tanabata, we write our wishes on a piece of paper and hang it on a bamboo tree. Students at KTS do so with wishes to get better at weaving (and other wishes too).

We hope it doesn't rain tonight!


Kibune Shrine, which is two train stations away from the school, will be having a special night time illumination from July 1 to August 15, dusk to 8PM weekdays and 9PM on weekends and holidays.

January 25, 2013


Hello! We hope your new year is going well.

Both of the Foundation Kasuri Courses in 2013 are full now, but please contact us if you would like to be on the waiting list. We will let you know if there is an opening. We are truly thankful for the number of people who have shown interest in studying at KTS and hope to be able to increase the maximum number of students in the future. Thank you so much.

Dates and details for workshops (1-4 days) are coming soon. Like last year, we plan to have Shifu 1, 2, 3, Day Trip to Miyama and Natural Dyeing.

We have been updating the FAQ page with information on courses and weather etc. Please take a look if you haven't been there for a while!