Vol.3 Nozomi Shichi in Kyoto

 

New Series Cohana and Ninigi

Along with the introduction of Cohana's products and campaigns, we also would like to share stories and the latest information related to handicrafts, focusing on "people" who are active in various handicraft fields through a connection with Cohana.

 

Cohana and Ninigi Vol.3

Nozomi Shichi in Kyoto

I'm an image

 

Pursuing Kaga Yubinuki, Japanese Traditional Thimble, she launched "Atelier Rikka" in Kyoto in 2021. Creating not only traditional Yubinukis but also thread jewelries woven with silk threads applying the technique acquired through Yubinuki creation.

Nozomi was a member of Cohana's creative team when the brand was launched.
Since becoming independent from Cohana, she has been creating delicate and beautiful artworks one after another with her new sensibility and traditional techniques. She also actively holds workshops to spread the joy of making.

 

The article will be divided into two parts, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. In this first part, we asked Nozomi about her relationship with Cohana, her handmade history, how she became a professional, Kaga Yubinuki, and more.

 

 

Please share your relationship with Cohana

I used to work for Cohana, as a member of the creative team during the brand's launch. I was in charge of color selection, product planning, and photography. For me, Cohana is still a very special brand, so I am very happy to see the current expansion of the product line.

Cohana's tools are user-friendly and are great to receive as a gift. The brand integrates both quality and design, which I find attractive from a seller's point of view.... so Cohana products are currently available at my atelier/store.

 

Please share your handicrafting history

When I was a child, I loved to draw. A picture book author was my dream, so I went to an art college. Eventually, I became more interested in general products, especially fabrics. After studying textile dyeing, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the planning of Cohana.

Among the various projects I engaged in Cohana, It was a great experience to propose the names of Cohana's basic colors from traditional Japanese colors, and having them adopted.
Painting, dyeing, Cohana, and my current occupation Yubinuki creator... It may seem like a winding road, but looking back, I have come this far with "love of color" at the core of everything I do.

I first encountered Yubinuki at a workshop I attended during a trip to Kanazawa. It literally hit me like a bolt of lightning, and I have been fascinated by Yubinuki ever since.  Now I have my atelier/store in Kyoto and have been selling my works as well as offering in-person and online Yubinuki classes.

 

How did your favorite handicraft Yubinuki become your job?

While working at Cohana, I kept making Yubinukis at home. I naturally began to have more opportunities to meet independent people who made their living doing handicraft they are passionate about. Gradually, my desire to be independent grew stronger, so I decided to start my own business.

Location was important to me since I was planning to sell my work as well as teach people how to make Yubinuki. I decided to set up my atelier/shop in Kyoto, which attracts a lot of people and has deep connections with silk threads.

 

Please explain about Kaga Yubinuki

Yubinuki is a word for thimble in Japanese. Kaga Yubinuki is a traditional Japanese handicrafted thimble made of silk threads, originating in Kaga, Kanazawa.
The Yubinuki tradition started among seamstresses in Kaga, where Kimono production was developed. They made their own thimbles by hand with leftover threads and fabrics.
The custom developed and reached the realm of small art with their delicate colors and beauty. While being practical as a sewing tool, Yubinuki is also enjoyed as a collector's item and decorative item because of its rich design, color, and lightness.

Kaga Yubinukis are mainly used for handicrafts that require hand sewing, such as Japanese Kimono making.

Yubinukis are very practical as a tool. It is  said that they can overcome the shortcomings of leather and metal thimbles.
A leather ring-shaped thimble has an elastic knot at the back so only front side can be used. Due to the limited surface, holes can appear in case of heavy use. On the other hand, Yubinuki can use on all sides by rotating, and it can be used for longer time.
With Metal thimble, needles can slip and hurt other fingers. However the surface of Yubinuki is layered with threads, so the needle tip can be firmly caught in between the threads, so there is almost no risk of slipping and hurting.

Despite these excellent features, Yubinukis are still consumable. Thread breakage and wear and tear can occur. For heavy users, in order to maintain the beauty of Yubinuki, it is recommended to make a new one every year.
I also use a Yubinuki that I made as a tool. It is always nice to have a beautiful Yubinuki at hand, and it makes my work more enjoyable and progressing.

 

Please tell us about the fascination of Yubinuki

The beauty of Yubinuki lies in the beautiful colors of the silk threads and the richness of the patterns.

Beautifully colored silk threads are lined up neatly to create patterns. I was thrilled to see the differences in color between the single threads and the overlapping threads. For me Yubinuki is like a jewel.

 

When you get further into it, there is the fascination of creating new designs in many ways. There is no limit to the combinations of designs and colors. You will never get tired of it. I could go on for a long time about talking patterns, so I'll leave it here....I mean, I can't stop because I'm a maniac!

 

 Please show us your most recent work

Snowmen with a Yubinuki scarf

 

This is a kit for winter limited edition. While I enjoy making Yubinuki itself, I also like to make seasonal decorations using Yubinuki like this. In addition to Yubinuki creation, I also enjoy developing products.
My experience from my days at Cohana, where I was thinking daily about how to combine local industries and handicraft tools, has been put to good use.

 

The delicate beauty of the traditional Japanese thimble Yubinuki is very fascinating. Impressive as they are in appearance, they are also practical. We would like to use one and make one if possible!
If there is a Yubinuki in our sewing box, the joy of handicraft will surely expand!

 

 

Basically, I use only one needle in my Yubinuki making. So, I often use the Shigaraki Ware Button Magnet when I work. The needle stops firmly on the magnet so it is easy to put it down or pick it up. This item is very useful to pick up fallen needles.

And above all, it is cute. It is small, colorful, and goes perfectly with my Yubinukis!

 

I'm an image

 

Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Nozomi Shichi Instagram  /  Website