echino 15th Anniversary – Special Interview #1 – Yuki Inomata, Handicraft Artist

Our first special interview features Yuki Inomata, a handicraft artist who has continuously
presented us with wonderful works and recipes on our craft & sewing site. We asked her about the charm and appeal of the echino fabrics.

Kokka Fabric (KF): You have created many works with the echino fabrics. Which fabric was the most memorable to you?

Yuki Inomata (YI): The fabric that left the biggest impression on me was the one with the blue bird. I selected that particular fabric for my workshop in Nagoya.

While most of the colors used in the fabrics were still natural tones at the time, this fabric presented me with a new experience, which was to make a bag using bright yellow. The bluebird is a motif that is dear to my heart, so the motif really touched me. This design had left me with such an impact.

KF: The fabric you selected was the parrot pattern in mustard color from the parakeet series, and the deer pattern and black dots from the sambar, both featured in the echino 2015 collection. The handle had a rich blue tone that matched the color of the parakeet. The lining fabric was a solid mustard color that complemented the parakeet. Accented with a leather embellishment, the bag had a sophisticated design.

KF: So far, you have created various works with echino fabrics. When making items using echino, what were the nicest things you found about them?

YI: When I make bags, I usually try to come up with a piece that incorporates the original texture of the material, and try not to use a fusible interfacing as much as possible.
For that purpose, echino’s fabric is the perfect material. The fabric itself has a structure that can be tailored well, is easy to sew, and the color does not fade easily even when it is made to be washed repeatedly. I find it a very useful material.

Clutch Bag (2014) Made with “Alice in Wonderland,” a collaborative series of fabric by nunokara and echino designer, Etsuko Furuya

Shoulder Bag (2015)Made with echino’s jacquard fabric.

KF:echino’s cotton linen line is really ideal for bag making, isn’t it? On the other hand, were there any challenges in making the bags?

YI:The most difficult part was to coordinate fabrics with echino’s quite impactful colors. Every time, I am presented with this task of finding a way to make the pattern stand out with the use of complementary fabrics.

Tuck Tote Bag (2016)Featured echino’s silver metallic pattern “piece”

Gusseted Tuck Tote Bag (2017)The impactful bird pattern was a focal point, combined with a dot pattern in the same color.

KF: To sum up, what makes the echino the most attractive fabric?

YI:I think that even sewing beginners will never make mistakes in choosing the right materials with echino. The patterns have such an impact. The large patterns look great on throw pillows and curtains for the interior décor as the fabric itself makes a statement, while the ones with small patterns and finely scattered motifs are suitable for small items.
Also, no matter what kind of item you make, from clothing to accessories, the impact of the pattern is so powerful that even if the outcome is not perfect, the patterns on the fabric help disguise any irregularities.
The fabric stands out on its own without the need to match it with any other fabric, as if it is like a piece of art.

KF:Whether it is used for a large creation or for a smaller item, you can expect an outcome that takes the most advantage of the designs’ characteristics, right?
In 2020, you made the masks using the echino jacquard series. It was refreshing to find that echino works well with even something small like a mask.

Pleated Mask (2020)

KF: What kind of fabrics would you like to see for echino’s upcoming release?

YI: I think quilted fabrics would be very cute. It would look great not only for lesson bags but also for making bags for adults. Also, laminated fabrics would be nice. I would love to see the laminated fabrics made of cotton and linen, because it would turn whatever you make into a higher quality piece.

KF: In the coming years, what items would you like to make with echino fabrics?

YI: It would be nice to make a tapestry to hang on the wall using the large pattern. In fact, I have already purchased a “Christmas tree pattern”!

KF: Wow, thank you so much! We cannot wait to see how your Christmas tapestry turns out! We are looking forward to your handmade creations made with echino fabrics in the future.