Japanese Fabric Arts
Kiriko is four creatives in Portland, Oregon who make items that are both beautiful and utilitarian. Their work is a blend of American and Japanese craftsmanship, a mix of traditional patterns and heritage fabrics each with its own unique character. A particular fabric they work with, boro (or Japanese indigo), is a handwoven hand-dyed fabric originally used by Japanese peasants, merchants and artisans from the 17th to 19th century. Boro represents a period when items were precious and few, when goods were made by hand and made to last – and serves as a reminder of the values of originality, purpose, and quality they strive to uphold in each product Kiriko shares with its customers. The history of a fabric tells the history of a culture. For Dawn Yanagihara, Creative Director at Kiriko, this hits especially close to home. “All of my family’s heirlooms were taken during WWII. Most of the items had come with my great-great-grandfather and grandmother from Japan. Since starting Kiriko, my understanding and appreciation for these fabrics and the history behind it has grown exponentially. It’s a privilege to work with this material, and I am so happy to be able to share it with our customers.” Every product is made, pressed, and packaged by hand in Portland.