For customers who shop with us for the first time, we include `fabric sampler card' in the parcel. We started this more than ten years before. The reason was because there are many different technique used for silk and other textiles for Japanese kimono and obi. For example, some silk may feel more like cotton, there are all sorts of silk!
You may imagine drapy thin textile like sheer scarves as silk- there are drapy thin silk, but also crisp silk, glossy silk, thicker and stiff silk, textured silk and so on. Also there are jinken-which is not silk but made to be similer to silk and hard to tell the difference( jinken is actually rayon and burns easily like paper).
Recently, we changed a little and made a new version of fabric sampler.
We put fabrics you find most with kimono and obi. On the left row we put silk with the kind you see very often in our website:
kinsha -fine crepe silk
rinzu-woven pattern silk
meisen-plain silk with woven pattern
meisen-plain silk and jinken blend with woven pattern
On the right row, we put other kind of fabrics you see with kimono and obi
Our photo taking staff were making the samplers in our office but recently we changed to out-sourcing. Our friend Yuki is a director of a workshop for disabled people. We have known her for a long time since our children were very small, and the story how she became a director of the workshop is hilarious.
She was working at a small workshop for disabled in her neighborhood first. The place was run by the parents of the people. Four years ago, the government changed the law and the small workshops like her place which was not authorized had to decide whether they close or change to be an authorized center. Since the workshop was very small, she thought there was no way and she thought she lost her job, The parents were busy and they asked her to attend the government's meeting of explanation of the new law on behalf of them. She reluctantly went to the meeting-thinking about seeking for a new job. At night, in her dream, God appeared and said `I want you to do this for me'. She said `no, not me!' but she has been caught! At another meeting, she met a Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist by accident - who became one of the director of the workshop later. He was sent to the meeting but had no intention of doing such job for an organization. All the unexpected things started to happen around her.
She found a nice new place to rent for the workshop and did all the legal procedure and it became an authorized organization. The people could continue to come- but some of the people became weak and difficult to come to the workshop. She applied to the charity TV program and won a car to pick them up-so they could continue to come.
She originally started to work at the workshop only because it was close from her home and worked only for three days a week (she said she was not a hardworker type). She says she will keep this job until God says `OK, you can quit'.
We showed her our kimono fabric sampler and asked if the people in the workshop can help us. She said `all these fabrics look same to me!'. We put labels and handed her the fabrics and a bunch of paper for the card. A few days later, she appeared with all finished cards, saying the people in the workshop enjoyed making cards and are willing to make more cards! Some of the members of the workshop are good at sewing-she invited someone to teach sewing to them and they are making products although she hates sewing ( she said `I cannot remember when I touched needle last time!'). She is always natural, and laughs a lot. She says `I hate hardwork. I don't care what government says.' She says - it is just so simple, the people keep coming and God told me to do this.
If you like to have this fabric sampler (ner version), we will be happy to include in your parcel when you order, even if you are not a new customer.