Nov 16, 2017 | By Lourdes Linares
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Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka of Kiriko are taking the ancient traditions of Japanese textiles and reviving them for today through their range of handcrafted accessories and apparel.
For Kiriko owners Dawn Yanagihara and Katsu Tanaka, fabric is everything. Thats why the pair search far and wide for century-old denim, hand-dyed shibori and vibrant kasuri for their joint project. Based out Portland, Oregan, Dawn and Katsu have tapped into the growing demand for rare and unique Japanese textiles that are sought after throughout the West. Beginning as a humble accessories start-up back in 2012 producing handmade scarves, pocket squares, ties and bags out of ancient Japanese textiles, the brand has now expanded to selling apparel that includes Japanese selvedge denim and woven shirts that champion original print and patterns from Japan.
Driven by “seasons not trends” Dawn and Katsu pay tribute to the by-gone eras when patterns had a meaning – when cloth was handwoven and dyes seasonal. This slow approach to production emphasises the brands focus on real craftsmanship and care. Each product is handmade in Japan and features design details that hark back to Japan’s Edo-period like boro patchworks, ai-zome indigo dye techniques and intricate ikat patterns known as kasuri. But these time-old traditions are reworked with a modern sensibility like contrast weft linings on jeans, allover pattern shirts or simple fabric blocking on belts that breathe new life to these relics for a new generation of indigo lovers. They’ve even tagged up with American denim line Madewell for a capsule collection of remade denim truckers and jeans with boro patchworking.
Their jeans are denim is 100% cotton, 13 oz Japanese selvedge denim. The jeans are made and crafted by a denim manufactory in Fukuyama city, Hiroshima, the 2nd biggest denim manufactory city in Japan next to Kurashiki Okayama. This meticulously made pant comes in just one straight leg fit in a classic dark wash with trims like a hand-dyed, hand-embossed leather tag and of course the shibori lined cuff.
Kiriko can be found at any of these retailers, or online at Kiriko’s shop. Prices for each of the unique, handmade items range from $27 for a pocket square to $185 for jeans. For more information, like the Facebook page.
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