For those of you who follow us on Patreon, you probably know that we are working on a big project. We want to make fully handwoven, and mostly handspun kimono jackets. Our first project is coming along nicely and I've made quite some progress in the last week. I just love how the piece of fabric turned out, and can't wait to see the kimono coming together!
I've woven about 2,5m of 50 cm wide fabric now, which will make up for the whole back of the kimono. We could also have done 35 cm's per half, making the back 70 cms, but we quite liked the idea of the kimono falling very loose. This way it will be better wearable for multiple body types. Since we want our kimonos to be wearable for a very long time, it is usually a good thing to consider that peoples bodies change over the years. We want people to be able to enjoy their clothes for many years to come!
We've also been thinking about what fabric we are going to use for the inside. We decided to experiment with a very thin cruelty free, organic and fairtrade silk crepe, which we dyed naturally with madder. Now we have to figure out how we are going to sew everything together and if we are going to do some embroidery work on the jacket. I tried to embroider on my test piece, but it didn't turn out great. The yarn I used completely disappeared in the weaving. I might decide to embroider the name of the alpaca whose fleece I used on the inside of the jacket, since the silk will probably make a better background for embroidery.
The weaving progress alone took about 12 hours, and the spinning progress for the 300 grams yarn used about 21 hours. These kimono's will be one of a kind, made of the best quality of alpaca combined with luxury hand dyed silks. We think we will need about 3 times the amount of fabric we have now - leaving a total of 82,5 hours of work for the spinning and the weaving combined. And then we are going to hand sewn (and maybe hand embroider) the kimonos, which will probably add another 20 to 30 hours of work. It is a lot of work but very fulfilling! When deciding on a price, we also have to consider other costs than just the making of the kimono. We don't know exactly how much we'll need, but the alpaca fleece only will add about 50 euros to the price. Also we need to pay for many expenses such as making photos, giving away flyers and business cards and paying for the website. And we need to think about what we'll do if we don't sell all pieces, should the price overall be higher so we don't have to worry as much? Lot's to think about, but for now we will concentrate on making a beautiful product :) Caitlin Bongers
In the future we will share video’s on the making on our Patreon page Voor onze Nederlandse lezers: We begrijpen dat niet iedereen blij is met steeds meer Engels op websites. Maar omdat onze klantenkring steeds meer internationaal wordt kiezen we toch voor Engelstalig. Voor vragen kunt u natuurlijk altijd in de studio of per email bij ons terecht.