Tsuyo Onodera, a master kimono maker, and her daughter, Maki, have been making haori and hanten, kimono-influenced jackets and coats from denim, linen, paper, and cotton. Kimono are often worn in Japan for important public holidays and festivals and for formal occasions such as weddings and funerals. Maki’s vision is to put a contemporary spin on kimono traditions, creating designs that can be incorporated into everyday use. Tsuyo’s mastery of kimono sewing skills and Maki’s creativity combine to create kimono and kimono-influenced garments that preserve the traditions of kimono-making and enhance the appreciation of traditional textiles.
For dyeing the fabric, Tsuyo and Maki use sukumo, fermented indigo leaves, from Tokushima, Japan, as well as locally farmed indigo leaves from Napa and Sonoma in California. Jigokudate is an ancient recipe for making indigo dye, using a traditional technique of further fermenting sukumo in ash lye, calcium hydroxide, and wheat bran. They also use kakishibu, persimmon dye, produced in Kyoto, Japan. Once the fabric is dyed, it can be embellished with traditional sashiko or kogin embroidery or can even be hand painted. The fabric is then sewn into kimono designs that Tsuyo and Maki dream up together.