From a young age I’ve had a love of all things Japanese. When I started making face marks during the pandemic it was obvious that I would choose Japanese fabrics.
I’ve always been a creative person whether it was pencil drawing to fluid art or egg decorating craft and now to sewing. Plus I did a couple of years of photography but unfortunately had to give up due to fibromyalgia.
I have not had any formal training in arts & crafts. My first full time job was in antique furniture restoration until I was made redundant. Then I did bar work in a club in Liverpool. My last job was working for a large British retailer and during the pandemic I took redundancy.
I started my etsy shop selling items with my photographs and fluid art on, pillows, mugs and t-shirts via a print on demand company. I didn’t make many sales but kept the shop going. I didn’t do anything creative at the start of the pandemic, my head space just didn’t seem to be in the right creative place. It wasn’t until August of 2020 that I started sewing face masks in Japanese cotton. Bought pieces of vintage kimono silk but I wasn’t sure of what to do with them. I ended up making infinity scarves from them as most of the pieces where the perfect length.
Kimono washing is part of traditional Japanese culture also known as arai-hari. It is a unique process where the care consists of unstitching the kimono to separate each panel of cloth before being washed, dried and sewn back together again. Sometime they are not put back together if pieces are damaged. Then the silk is sold in pieces.