Works of Japanese embroidery are very expensive. Works under $100 rarely exist.
A kimono with full of Japanese embroidery costs tens of thousands of dollars.
Why are Japanese embroidery works so expensive?
Of course, you can say that they are all hand embroidered products.
However, it is so much more expensive than Western Embroidery, such as French Style Embroidery.
There are proper explanation for the reason why it is so expensive.
- 1 Cost of Japanese Embroidery does not depend on the amount of embroidery.
- 2 Japanese Embroidery begins with making of embroidery threads.
- 3 Delicate preciseness of Japanese Embroidery cannot be found in Western Style Embroidery
- 4 Japanese Embroidery has values in the working process.
Cost of Japanese Embroidery does not depend on the amount of embroidery.
There are so many things that are important in works in Japanese embroidery, such as original drawing ideas, designs, and colors.
However, there is far more important thing.
It is the technique of sawing skill.
Without meticulous sawing techniques, it is worth nothing even it has beautiful designs, or colors.
There are more than forty basic sawing styles in Japanese embroidery.
The tradition of Japanese embroidery has established only because the artists were past on the techniques from the masters.
Artists only gain those techniques as they perfect each step one by one in the order.
Learning step by step is significant, and also this is why it is hard to self-taught Japanese embroidery.
On the other hand, you can start learning any stitches when it comes to Western embroidery and you can still make a beautiful work.
However, it doesn’t work like this with Japanese embroidery.
Just like how children have to learn Hiragana letter first before they can learn Kanji characters, you need to remember certain techniques before you can go on to next step when you are learning Japanese embroidery.
Since you learn from step by step properly, it prevents from showing immatureness of your technique, and it will motivate you to improvement.
It takes very long time to master the Japanese embroidery techniques, and to express art freely using accomplished techniques.
Therefore, value is found in these acquired techniques.
Even though there are lots of embroidery found in the work, if quality of the work is low, it is not valuable.
On the other hand, even if there is less embroidery done, but the quality is high, the work becomes valuable.
The work of Japanese embroidery depends on not only the quantity of the embroidery, but more for the level of quality and delicate skill.
Japanese Embroidery begins with making of embroidery threads.
Japanese embroidery is sawed on pure silk fabric.
Embroidery work is done by using silk threads on silk fabric.
The significant difference from Western embroidery is that artists begins their work from making his/her own embroidery threads.
To be exact, they even start from process of twisting threads.
The silk thread used in Japanese embroidery is called“Kamaito”.
It comes directly cocoon of silkworm. It consists of 10-12 thin silk threads before twisting.
Then we use “Yoribo”, twisting stick to twist thin threads to make an embroidery thread.
Embroidery threads are made according to desings of the work or embroidery techniques and then tightness/looseness and colors, by mixing variety of colors, are adjusted.
Delicate preciseness of Japanese Embroidery cannot be found in Western Style Embroidery
The basic rule of the thumb for Japanese embroidery is to look how fabric is woven.
Take a look at a T-shirt.
If you look closely, you can see ups and downs (raised part and indented part) of weaving in the fabric.
These are created by longitude and horizontal woven lines.
Japanese embroidery is stitched onto horizontal line.
The Japanese Embroidery technique which is not merely stitching a line.
There is a technique called “Suganui”.
It is the way a tread is stitched over the indented parts of horizontal woven line.
It looks like it has been sawed in just a line, however, if you take a close look at…… Can you see stich has been going around a thread that goes through same hole by 3 mm interval?
If you just saw a line, the thread might get loose or thread get looped.
Thus, it is necessary to saw the thread on to the silk fabric with very tiny interval stitches.
You can see the videos and a picture for better understanding.
Japanese Embroidery has values in the working process.
The Japanese embroidery has so many detailed techniques which are hard to see from just looking, such as above mentioned “Suganui” technique.
Those matriculate techniques are just like a bundle of Japanese spirit of beauty.
You can say that Japanese embroidery is an art of skill.
You can find values in not only beautifully finished works, but also can find true values in actual stitching process.
However, if you are not familiar with the process of Japanese embroidery, you will not probably notice it.
Japanese embroidery has established through passing the techniques from masters to apprentices as Japanese traditional art.
By doing so, it failed to let ordinary people know the process.
We had long period of old fashion thought that as long as you produce quality goods, they will sell.
Thus, even though Japanese embroidery as traditional art exists, a few people know about our own traditional culture while most people appreciate Western embroidery.
In order to spread knowledge about Japanese embroidery to many people, just showing beautifully finished products are not enough.
It is important to let the people familiarize the process of Japanese embroidery works.
Thus, I would like to send a lot of message of how Japanese embroidery works are actually made and what kind of techniques are used to make Japanese embroidery products as a representative of Japanese embroidery artist.
・ﾟ・*.｡☆*My dream is to do solo exhibition in NY*☆｡.*・ﾟ・