|Shizuko Irie, one of the weavers with Sudo Nobuko in Tochigi.|
In early February, I had the pleasure of visiting a place in Tochigi Prefecture where silk is still made entirely by hand. Yuki tsumugi is one of the loveliest fabrics I've ever encountered, and for this series of stories I got to visit weaving houses, wholesalers, museums, and even try my hand at the weaving process itself. It was fascinating.
My favorite fact? That it was originally crafted by farmers who didn't want to waste the cocoons that couldn't be used for regular silk. Leave it to farmer ingenuity to give the world something beautifully crafted that lasts for generations.
I should also mention that the incredible photos that accompany the articles were taken by the amazingly talented Lori Ono. As a fiber artist herself, she was able to truly capture the beauty of this traditional art form.
You can read all about our trip and experience here at GaijinPot and over at SavvyTokyo, and then plan your own crafty adventure!