Online store update!

polkaros store update 2016

Our online store will be restocked tomorrow, June 2, at 9:30pm Singapore time/9:30am EDT. Finally!! Thank you to those who have been asking and waiting so patiently for our update. Do drop by to check out some of our new products! Hope you will find something you like! x

Textile Festival In Ochiai Part 1

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Once a year, my neighbourhood comes to life in an event called ‘Some no Komichi 染の小道’. The Ochiai/Nakai district used to be filled with up to 300 small dyeing factories from Showa period to 1950’s. Today it is still home to some artisans and is a meeting place for people who are interested to learn about Japanese dyeing techniques. This 3-day event usually held during the last weekend of February, celebrates its dyeing heritage with colorful hand-dyed textile and hands-on dyeing workshops. Shopfronts are decorated with hand-dyed ‘Noren’ (Japanese curtains) and colorful dyed kimono cloths are raised over the Myoshoji river where dyed clothes used to be washed. Many visitors come dressed in kimono which makes it feel like you have traveled back in time.

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Textile Festival in Ochiai

Duration: 27 Feb ~ 1 Mar 2015 (Usually held on the last weekend of February each year)
Closet station: Nakai Station on the Seibu Shinjuku line/ Toei Oedo Line
Event map:
Official Site (mostly in Japanese):

TENUGUI by Polkaros

Tenugui by Polkaros

Introducing our first series of Tenugui, handprinted by local craftsmen in Gujo city, Gifu prefecture, Japan. This series is inspired by four of our favorite traditional Japanese patterns: Seigaiha (blue), Kikotsunagi (red), Uroko (green) and Mizuhiki(yellow).





Our Tenugui are now available at Takara Gallery in Gujo city. Here are so some pictures courtesy of Takara Galley.

Takara garo

takTakara garoara6

Takara garo

Takara garo

Takara garo

Takara garo
A picture of the silkscreens that were used to print our Tenugui.

For those living outside of Japan, you can also get them at our online store now.

Fresh Indigo leaf dyeing – 藍の生葉染め


A few weeks back I was in Joshibi giving my second guest lecture. This time I was less nervous and really enjoyed sharing my experience with the students. After my lecture, I sneaked into the silkscreen/dyeing lab to take some pictures. My professor invited me to join one of their graduate classes where they were dyeing silk stoles with fresh Japanese indigo leaves (Ai).

Aizome, also known as indigo dyeing, is usually done with fermented leaves and the color is normally a dark indigo blue. With fresh leaves, it’s fascinating how different and vibrant the color is. Indigo leaves are rare and precious in Japan so I felt fortunate to be able to touch and dye with the fresh leaves. We blended the leaves in a juice mixer, extracted the dye with a netted bag and soaked our silk cloths in the dye for about 20 minutes. It was magical seeing how the color turned from leafy green to turquoise as it comes in contact with air and oxidizes.






Love the color!

Japanese Textile Dyeing Festival


Earlier this year, I went to a Japanese traditional dyeing event called ‘Some no Komichi’. It was a 3 day event held in the Ochiai/Nakai area, also known as the center for Tokyo’s traditional dyeing industry. A place where skilled craftsmen can still be seen in their workshops applying colors and patterns to kimono silks. Until 1960s, newly dyed cloths were being washed in the Myoshoji River. To celebrate the traditional craft, hand-dyed fabric were displayed in the ‘River Gallery’ over the Myoshoji River throughout the event. The shopping street was decorated with Noren (Traditional Japanese fabric dividers) that were specially designed and hand-dyed by craftsmen for the shops that participated. Local craftsmen living in the area also opened their workshops to public for viewing and some even offered a 1 day trial lesson for visitors to experience traditional Japanese dyeing techniques. Here are some pictures of the amazing 3 day event!
















Sham Shui Po Part 1 – Textile Wholesalers






Back in Tokyo after a 2 week long work trip to Hong Kong and China. Visited my favorite place in Hong Kong, Sham Shui Po, in search of new fabrics for the coming season. Sham Shui Po never fails to amaze me with all the colors and clutter! Above is the part of the neighborhood where textile wholesalers line the streets with colorful fabric swatches for potential buyers to take for free. What a clever system to give out fabric swatches for free. I’ve collected enough swatches to start a mini fabric library! They will come in very handy when designing new products in the future.

Related post:
I ♥ sham shui po


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