Inspiration file 09
Zakka(*) from hand-woven fabrics


Hand-weaving crafter, cotolinne, makes “zakka” (*) by using hand-woven fabrics. Hand? Yes, she weaves cloths from yarns by hand for her sewing projects.

It has been almost five years since cotolinne started making her own hand-woven fabrics. She was absolutely fascinated to see yarns transformed into what she had designed. She says, “Designing a hand-woven fabric is similar to forming a chart of cross-stitch.”

cotolinne usually uses linen yarn to weave fabric. She dyes most yarns by herself, occasionally with plant juices extracted from flowers, leaves, stems and roots. She continues “Color of dyed yarn may vary from a slightly in the amount of yarn or stain, that is, I cannot create same colored yarn. The new colored yarn is made each time.” Her fabric is one of a kind. It is the best part of handicraft.

“First I form the image of the craft project and then start weaving. I prepare yarns depending on the size of the product. I weave narrow fabric for a pouch, for instance.” She usually weaves 4-meters of warp to finish one fabric since her every single “zakka” project is small.

cotolinne’s pretty patterned fabrics with rabbits, squirrels or small flowers are turned into lovely products such as a snap pouch or a pen-case which will be sold at “zakka” shops.

Her new fabric was created for the handmade “zakka” event themed “Town Musicians of Bremen”. From the folktale by the Brother Grimm, motifs of a donkey, a dog, a cat, a rooster and musical items are used in the hand-woven fabric. “While all animals are loomed, the musical charms are attached. At the end of the story, these four animals live happily together in a cottage for the rest of their days. The cottage was woven with the animals, too.”

Various motifs are created from one yarn while weaving. It seems that cocolinne’s playful spirit is also woven in the fabric, doesn’t it?

You can see the website of cotolinne at

Zakka, originally a Japanese term meaning “many things”, is also used for all the cute little items that improve your home appearance such as household items, stationeries, and accessories.