Archive for February, 2010

Japanese Influence::Part II

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Among private collections that are open to public are Mary Baskett and Gene Sherman collections that are available out there to see. These ladies have started collecting Japanese designers’ clothing (rather works of art!) from around 1970-80ies and wearing every day and later retiring it, so it is now displayed to public.

This Fall Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. has presented us with an amazing opportunity to view their current exhibit Japanese Contemporary Fashion: The Mary Basket Collection. When my friends were over in DC from Ohio for a visit we managed to see it and it is truly breathtaking, the exhibit is still on till April 2010. So if you are going to be in DC, you have to go see it for yourself!

images courtesy of Cubistliterature and Olga Buraya-Kefelian

Now that I live in Japan, I honestly can’t wait for Kyoto Costume Institute to announce some amazing new exhibitions to explore! They are the biggest source of inspiration for me as I have grown up around fashion, but a different kind of fashion. And now I see fashion everyday from streets of Harajuku to peripheral residences of real Japan or at least where it all started….

A-174 cotton gima

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Above swatches made on 3.25 mm needles

100% cotton

Approx. 265 yds [238m]/oz [28gr]

Available in over 24 colors.

A fine cotton ribbon has a papery texture. The yarn is pressed into a tape then “glued” with viscose sizing (starch). “Gima” literally means “fake linen” in Japanese. The yarn has a general cool, crisp, “cottony” feel while also offers a subtle amount of fullness and body, especially when knitted using double strands. It behaves great on the needles.

Swatch made with Gima washed and blocked beautifully, stitches relaxed and flattened into a smooth and cohesive piece of fabric. It has great dimensional quality, the flatness of the yarn gives it excellent stitch definition in simple stockinette. It would create a beautiful airy summer tank top, cardigan set or small accessories like scarf and necklace. Garments made with Gima are better hand washed by soaking in cold or lukewarm water with a little bit of wool wash and air dry. Gima is currently available in 24 colors ranging from lovely pastels and earth tones to bright summery hues.