Monday, January 4, 2010

Be Still, My Beating Heart

Here it is, the amazing gift Mum gave me whilst I was staying with her on the weekend:

It's Kimono Silk. Real Kimono Silk from Japan.

 An ENTIRE ROLL, it's 38cm wide by about 18-20 metres long! Isn't it completely gorgeous?

Okay, be still my beating heart. So how did I come to be in posession of such awesome loveliness? Three years ago my uncle married a beautiful Japanese girl, and my mother travelled to Japan to be at the wedding. The bride's parents presented this roll of Kimono silk to Mum at the wedding as a gift from their family. She has had it ever since but had no idea what to do with it, so she has given it to me in the hope that I will make something beautiful with it. Of course I'm terrified to touch it, let alone take to it with scissors, but I do have a dream of it becoming a quilt someday, maybe with matching cushions and a tiny wall hanging?

If you know anything about Kimono Silk I want to hear from you! If you have any idea what I should do with this, or how it should be handled, I'm all ears! I should also say that I am fairly sure it's silk, but it doesn't actually say anywhere on the fabric or packaging.  I don't know anything more about it except for this Japanese mark which is stamped on the end of the roll and is also on a tiny piece of tape which held the tissue paper around the fabric. It may be a manufacturers mark, if anyone out there can read it and translate I'd love to know what it says.


  1. O my - that is stunning!!!
    Got no idea how to help you though - I'd be terrified taking scissors to it too!

  2. Oh my goodness, what an amazing gift.

    Sorry I'm no help either, I would be too terrified to cut into it as well.

  3. very very lovely, It looks big enough to cover some walls with, A feature wall, stretch it onto batons and make a screen, so many possibilities, What a great mum to give it to you.

  4. such beautiful silk! if you're really unsure if it's the real thing, you can always do a burn test:
    cut a small piece from a corner and take a match to it (be sure to hold it over the sink!)- if it smokes and burns, it's a real fiber. If it melts into a hard lump it's a synthetic. Also, be sure to keep the silk in a cool place away from direct sunlight or it may fade =-(

    i think the fabric would make a beautiful kimono (obvious, i know!), but if you're thinking of a quilt, check out the book, "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts"; they have a lovely and simple quilt made with washed silk on one side and muslin on the other. I think a patterned silk would look nice in contrast to the solid bright silks they used in the book =-)

    BTW: the silk can probably be washed but very carefully; i've washed lots of things, including suede jackets and cashmere in the machine so feel free to e-mail me if you'd like a few tips on washing unique items =-)

  5. Wow, it's amazing. You could visit Kimono Reincarnate's blog and talk to Melanie about your new acquisition. She sews and creates with vintage kimono's and I'm sure would have lots of good advice for you.

  6. Wow Gypsy its amazing - just stunning. What a precious gift. Come back to sewing class this year and make something with it!!!

    I'm sure Sue would be able to help - her entry for Fashion Awards Australia last year was a long evening gown made from narrow kimono silk. She came runner up with her beautiful creation (If you go to the awards website you can see some pics from picture 1389_FAA_28_08_09 onward).

  7. I'm terrified just looking at it ... let alone the thought of cutting it. I don't know if I could either. Good luck though and have fun.

  8. Wow, that is the most gorgeous gift. When you come to daylesford there is a shop here called Purls Palace that sell wool and lots of Japanese crafty things including Kimono silk packs. I'm sure Zoe could help you out and answer any questions.

  9. gorgeous! how inspiring. take will be amazing to see what you create.


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