September 15, 2017

Katarina Öberg

My trip to Japan started in Okinawa. The very first day in Naha, I went to a weaving center, and was able to see Japanese looms and even try them myself. I didn’t try Kasuri, but I saw it and was very fascinated.

After two weeks of traveling around in the south of Japan, I came to Kawashima Textile School and started the Kasuri course. By introduction of my teacher, Emma-san, I really learned how to do it the Japanese way. I became more skilled as the days went by. It was a:

New way of warping
New way of winding
New way of threading the heddles
New way of sleying the reed
New way of tying at the back
New way of arranging threads
And binding the kasuri

The hardest part was to do the bindings tight enough. “A little bit tighter,” my fingers were all numb.

When the binding was all done, we dyed with Hori-sensei. It was such a nice and well-organized dyeing room.

After four weeks, I understood the basics of Warp Kasuri, Weft Kasuri, Zurashi Gasuri and Nassen Gasuri.

For the last four weeks, I worked on my own project. I wanted to use different materials from what I use at home, and decided to use ramie and silk. Since I have always liked clothing, naturally I thought of a kimono, while in Japan. But there was not enough time. Maybe I can do a little bit less, a Haori (jacket).

My teacher, Yamamoto-sensei, helped me to get it all started. Even if we do not have a common language, we could communicate between the threads.

To weave on a Japanese loom, where everything is loose, is quite different from a Swedish Öxabäck loom. I was taught how to use three shuttles at the same time, to get a uniform fabric.

Together with Emma-san, I went to a tailor to leave my own fabric, which I have worked so many hours with. – Please make me a Haori. I was so lucky that I had a translator – Emma-san.

At the end of the year I went back home to Sweden. After a couple of weeks I got to know that the Haori was ready. I was very curious about what it looked like. From the exhibition I got a few photos of the Haori and all the other nice textiles by the students. But I did not actually see the Haori until one day in April. A flat package arrived from Japan. When I unfolded it I was quite nervous, but it looked even better in real life. Now it hangs on a wall in my house to look at every day, and I am really proud. I am looking for a good moment to wear it, but it has not appeared yet. Maybe I have to go back to Japan for a suitable situation.

from the KTS Graduate Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, March 2017

Apart from weaving, my best memory from Kawashima Textile School is the afternoons: the question hour between four and five. Since I stayed in a room outside the school, I had to cook my own food for breakfast and dinner. It was very interesting, and there were so many new things to try. Vegetables, fruit, fish, and packages I have never seen before. Nearly every day I had new questions about food and recipes. How to cook tofu, all different kinds. And what is the best natto.

Thank you all teachers in the teachers’ office, for so many pieces of good advice. A special thanks to Kazumi-san, always doing a little bit extra and searching for interesting things to do and see.

Katarina Öberg (Sweden)


Katarina was an exchange student from HV Skola (Sweden) and studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in autumn 2016.

July 12, 2017

Foundation Kasuri Course in Autumn 2017

We are accepting additional applications for the Foundation Kasuri Course this autumn.

Foundation Kasuri Course
October 23 - November 6, 2017

Application Deadline
July 21, 2017 / Notification: End of July

More information about the course and application procedure can be found here.

June 13, 2017

New Shower Room!

One of the shared baths at our dormitory has been totally remodeled and changed into a shower room (4 stalls equipped). This clean and comfortable room is already very popular among our students. The shared dressing room of the other bath has also been remodeled. Please refresh yourself in the renewed baths! (For females only)

March 7, 2017

Amie Andrews

Natural dyeing in the Beginners course

It was likely inevitable that I would grow to love and appreciate textiles in the way I do now—given the eclectic mix and plentiful supply of fabrics which surrounded me from a very young age—as my mother pieced and appliquéd unique and beautiful patchwork quilts at home. This passion for textiles passed from mother to daughter and ultimately led me to pursue studies with a focus on the arts, in the field of fine arts and thereafter textile design and printing.

Whilst absorbed in the study of textiles I came across the remarkable work of Sheila Hicks and Annie Albers and it left me eager to learn more of the art and craft of weaving.

I began weaving on the most basic of pin looms and it’s simplicity had me hooked in an instant. I wove simply with myriad threads and found the process no matter it’s method magic. What followed? A brief introduction to table loom weaving and an enduring passion and obsession for tapestry weaving thereafter.

Having chanced upon a reference to the Kawashima Textile School in VÄV magazine—a terrific resource—my curiosity got the better of me and with the encouragement and support of family and friends I applied. One year later and I could hardly believe I was travelling to the wondrous Japan.

I had never travelled before and to do so on my own, well, the experience was overwhelming in the best way imaginable. I was the foreigner (Gaijin) who talked too loudly, laughed often, dropped anything and everything and blew my nose—regularly—in the company of others. I understood very little of the Japanese language but it did not prevent me, nor local students, staff and the wider public from conversing, albeit with a cheeky grin and much laughter.

We were a group of seven women undertaking the international beginners course in the Spring of 2016 and we were in excellent company with teachers (sensei), staff and fellow students alike all incredibly warm, welcoming and good humoured. To learn the art and craft of weaving in the company of such wonderful creatives made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Learning was well paced with great emphasis placed on comprehension of the fundamentals and encouragement from the outset to strive for one’s best. Weaving would require a great deal of patience and concentration and we were gently cautioned that a mistake at any stage, when preparing for and when weaving, will inevitably cause a fair amount of grief later on. Suffice to say the process of dyeing and weaving appeared straightforward in the hands of our competent teachers and yet took a fair amount of due diligence to get right. Mistakes were made but overcome with the help and assistance of patient and forgiving teachers (sensei) and aides.

I feel immensely grateful to have been able to have attended the Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto and truly fortunate to have been able to learn the fundamentals of dyeing and weaving under the expert tutorship of the dedicated craftswomen and craftsmen of the Kawashima Textile School. The work done here is beyond measure.

Experiences—both solitary and shared—friendships forged and recollections of my time in Japan will remain with me for a lifetime and will be remembered with great fondness.

Dormitory and cafeteria
A choir of frogs outside my dormitory window were keen for me to rise early each morning but I would have done so regardless given how eager I was to start each day. Little time was spent in my dormitory room as I was either too busy weaving, eating delicious food in the cafeteria, making a fool of myself with students and staff alike or exploring Ichihara and further afield.

To stay within the dormitory in the company of the students and staff was a wonderful experience and one I would have been sorry to have missed. Sampling treats and snacks of all varieties and playing card games with the good humored students—it was great fun!

I was keen to experience the traditional bath or "daiyokujou" on day one of my stay but only managed to submerge one foot, which turned a shade of crimson instantaneously, before thinking better of it, for the first night at least. My second attempt saw me knee deep—that’s both knees—but only for a matter of seconds. Third time worked a charm and I was in up to my neck and frightfully still, if not a little numb. I emerged from the steaming onsen red and white all over with a grin from ear to ear. I looked forward to the onsen thereafter and I am longing for it now I am back at home.

Amie Andrews (Australia)


Amie studied in the Beginners Course in spring 2016.

February 21, 2017

Nanny Rådenman

My fascination with textiles started as a young girl growing up in a small mountain village in the north part of Sweden. My mother, who is a seamstress and weaver, always had different textile projects in the making and I loved watching her create. After primary school I studied clothing design and pattern design for three years. A few years later, I applied to HV Skola and entered a new world of textile. For three years I learned weaving and embroidery and fell in love with the craftsmanship. I graduated from HV Skola in the spring of 2015 and was granted a scholarship to go to Kawashima Textile School.

My arrival in Japan was something I had dreamed of. Just walking down an ordinary street was something totally different from anything I had experienced. The architecture, the colors, and the close feeling to nature gave me so much joy and creative energy.

At Kawashima I had the pleasure of meeting fantastic teachers as well as students that made my stay very joyful. It was very interesting to learn the Japanese way of weaving and work with kasuri. Kasuri was for me a new way of working and I am so happy to have that with me. The differences between the way I learned weaving at HV school to the way at Kawashima was mostly in the little things. Learning a new way of doing something that you are so used to was harder than I thought. After my stay at Kawashima, I find myself combining the HV style and Kawashima style of weaving, figuring out my own way.

When I look back at my stay, it is filled with love. All the amazing people I met, the Japanese culture that I am so happy I got to be a part of for a few months, and of course all the fantastic textiles I saw in the journey. So much inspiration to take back to Sweden and continue working at my loom.

Days Spent
In this piece I wanted to capture the time that I spent in Japan. My memories from traveling around the country are all strong and filled with colors. During my time at Kawashima Textile School, I really loved working with kasuri and especially fell for the simplicity that kasuri can convey. That simplicity suits me, making it look easier then it actually is.

Nanny Rådenman (Sweden)


Nanny was an exchange student from HV Skola (Sweden) and studied in the Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in autumn 2015.

February 1, 2017

Graduate Exhibition 2016

This year's Graduate Exhibition will be held from March 1 (Wed) to 5 (Sun) 2017 at the Annex of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. We will be exhibiting pieces by our first, second and third year students, technical study course students, and international students (Finland, France, Portugal, Sweden).

Kawashima Textile School Graduate Exhibition
2017.3.1 (Wed.) -5 (Sun.) 9:00 - 17:00
Annex of Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art (Kyoto-shi Bijutsukan BEKKAN)
Access Information
Admission Free