My name is Machiko and I was born in Japan.
My passion is to give vintage silk kimonos a new life.
I hand stitch all of my creations and they are all one of a kind.
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This scarf is from a formal ware kimono called Kurotomesode. White side is from unused silk kimono bolt.Kurotomesode is the most elegant and formal kimono for married women. It corresponds to an “evening dress” in Western clothes, although it can be worn any time of the day. Kuro tomesode is in black overall and the bottom half of the kimono is printed, hand painted or embroidered.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Tenuiya. “Tenui“ means hand stitching and “ya” means house in Japanese. So this is the house of hand stitching. I have always been fascinated by the beauty of vintage kimonos and the detail and complexity of the silk fabric that was used to create them. Most people in the world have not had the opportunity to see and feel a kimono in real life as authentic kimonos can be prohibitively expensive, often costing many thousands of dollars. In today's modern world, there is also very little occasion to wear a traditional kimono. The items I have made bring the history, beauty and delicacy of kimonos into the modern lifestyle.
A little bit about kimonos:
Until about 100 years ago kimonos were worn by all types of people including farmers and nobility every day. My grandmother wore a kimono everyday of her life. I remember vividly, how she would take the time and care to put on the kimono making sure everything was put together properly and presented well. I was always fascinated by the beauty of the final product, the intricacies of the material and patterns, but more importantly how it transformed my grandmother and all the women who wore one.
The traditional Japanese kimono was made of cotton, linen and silk. My main focus in my creations is on using all types of Japanese silk kimono fabric.
Vintage Japanese silk is also much stronger than contemporary kimonos because it was tightly woven for every day use and the wear and tear that occurs.
My name is Machiko and I was born in Fukuoka Japan. I immigrated to the US and ultimately made my career as a Neo Natal Intensive Care nurse in the Bay Area. I was truly blessed to have found a profession that I loved. After retirement, I began to spend more time on my passions. I have always found great beauty in Japanese kimonos and began deconstructing vintage kimonos to understand more about the fabrics and how they were built. Establishing how to hand wash them, I then began stitching scarves and wraps using the kimono fabric and found many people asking where I got them. I soon realized that this was a great way for people to experience the beauty of Japanese kimono fabric in a unique way. I hope that you find beauty in these items and enjoy them as I have enjoyed making them.