Saisei means 'reborn" in Japanese.
Back in 1950s Japan, my grandmother used to make kimono for my grandfather and my dad and his siblings. She was also a seamstress who would make kimono on contract and teach other people how to sew them.
Since her passing, and over decades, the kimono she made and her fabric were stored in my family’s wardrobe and forgotten. One spring, I went back to Japan to visit my family and asked about them. They were still in great condition. I decided to bring them over to New Zealand with me and started thinking about upcycling them.
Now, I handcraft scarves, cushion covers and so on out of the fabric that I brought back, and fabric that I hand pick from vintage kimono shops.
I feel privileged to give a new life to these fabrics that used to be worn and loved.
When I unpick kimono, I think of somebody in Japan who spent days to hand sew the kimono for her loved ones. I think of someone who wore it with much care and love.
= Buying vintage fabric =
My fabrics are vintage, so there are sometimes “imperfections” compared with brand new fabrics. With Aizome (indigo dyed cotton) in particular, this is considered part of the beauty of the fabric. However all my products are carefully handmade and I try to highlight imperfections in my product photos.
All of my products have a 30 day return, so feel free to try one and see how you enjoy it.