Hunted and Stuffed started out originally with a scrap of vintage Japanese silk from a woven Obi (Kimono belt) and an idea about upcycling so it seems really fitting that we can finally announce the launch of our new range of Kimono Luxe cushions!
Our boldest pieces are one-of-a-kind works of art that take the form of large bolsters, handmade from exquisite sections of vintage Japanese wedding Kimono silks and brocades.
Japanese vintage wedding kimonos (Uchikake) can be breathtaking in the amount of detail and craftsmanship that goes into making them.
Woven designs and carefully selected motifs are laden with symbolism and worked in real gilt threads in silver and gold. Each Kimono is a unique piece of art and the designs flow over the whole of the garment therefore each section of fabric is completely individual once the garment is unpicked.
Narrow looms dictate the width of these panels and historically in order to wash one of these kimono, the garment would be unpicked, cleaned and then sewn back together, such is the attention to detail and the precious nature of the fabric.
This is our first piece, made for the Liberty Best Of British 2013.
Liberty is hugely significant in the history of the Kimono in the UK. Arthur Lasenby, Liberty’s founder, imported beautiful and historically significant antique embroideries from the Far East and sold important Kimono pieces to the V&A Museum as early as 1877.
This is the video by Liberty from this years Best Of British Call, look out for me about 30 seconds in!
Cranes and Plum Blossoms adorn this brocade against a fiery orange and gold backdrop woven of gilt thread.
Cranes are believed to live to 1000 years of age and inhabit the Land of the Immortals and so adorning a wedding Kimono with them is to imbue the wearer with their symbolic properties.
Plum Blossoms have a seasonal meaning and as the first flower of the year to bloom, they symbolise rebirth and longevity. It is possible that this Bride was married in the early spring time. Again by wrapping her in these symbols the intention was that she would experience longevity in life and marriage.
We hunt for these amazing vintage textiles and often source them directly from Japan, it takes 8 weeks for them to arrive before we start work upcycling them into our Kimono Luxe pieces. As each textile is different, we carefully select a complimentary coloured luxury cotton velvet that really lets the textile come alive, in this case a luscious orange, and we source this from a London based luxury fabric business that has been trading for over three generations.
With such heavy brocade, there can be many threads that run across the back of the designs so we make sure to line the textile with cotton and overlock all edges for strength. We fit a matching concealed zip into the base so that the pad can be removed and fill the bolsters with luxury feather pads that have been made here in the UK.
Finally, each piece comes with a foiled tag which has been handmade on a vintage hand printing press again here in the UK and details the unique history of each individual piece and it’s edition: 1 of 1.
To see more of our designs please visit www.huntedandstuffed.com/collections/kimono
What do you think of our Kimono Luxe pieces? We’d love to know your thoughts, please leave comments at the end.