Inspiration file 42
Report on the Third Kokka Textile Contest “Inspiration”


On February 15, the prizewinners of Third Kokka Textile Competition “Inspiration” gathered for the award ceremony held at Cocca, a textile store in Tokyo. In the picture are the applied artworks by Natsuki Camino, who won the grand prize. While being the active illustrator for printed media in magazines and advertisements, Camino designed the cup & saucer bridal gift set for Barneys New York in 2012. Camino uses “Chigiri-e” technique for her works, which features torn pieces of colored paper collaged together to form images – like painting with paper.

Asked for the reason for her entry, Camino responded, “Fabric printed with my artwork sounded thrilling, and in fact it was my dream.”
While one of her entries “apple” is a very textile-like design with the repeated drawn motifs, others depicting airport or lighthouse are just like paintings. The composition for each work is unique, and they would also be good as pictures on the wall.

Masaru Suzuki, who is the textile designer and a judge for the competition, found “new possibility” in Camino’s designs. “The decisive factor in choosing hers was that they had been textiles, but not textile-like designs. Above all, her artworks were really attractive.”

A buffet party followed the award ceremony. With a glass of wine and appetizers, all participants enjoyed the friendly get-together. Other judges got talkative and made interesting comments:

“Today a minority, tomorrow a majority. Have a long-term perspective in your creative activities.” (by Masafumi Arita, textile designer)

“Keep it in mind that this is the art first, the textile second.” (by Masahiro Tobita, textile designer.)

Camino’s winning artwork will become a textile this summer and of course we will feature it at this site. You now have something to look forward to when it comes.

Inspiration file41
Let’s enjoy early spring with fabric flowers!


In Japan the weather starts to change around late winter and early spring. It gets warm and then cold, alternately. To describe the seasonal weather phenomenon, we have an idiomatic phrase “Sankan-shion” in Japanese which literally means three cold days followed by warm ones.

As much as 25 centimeters (9.84 inches) of snow was recorded in Tokyo on February 8, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years. In freezing cold weather, I cannot wait for spring to come. I miss spring-like coloration and items while some stores have cleared winter coats away to make way for the new spring line.

Fabric flower accessories in the above picture are what caught my eye when I was reading tweets from our Twitter followers the other day. How spring-like and lovely they are!

The brooches and headbands were made by titocetera who sells handmade items online. She says, “Fabric flower is one of my most favorite items to create. It’s so fun! I make petals one by one from cottons or linens, which have a great variety of colors and patterns. I like using cotton fabric with small floral pattern to make its loveliness visible even in tiny petals. Many of the small floral cotton prints have thin and soft texture. Therefore, for making a big fabric flower brooch, I use a combination of cotton and linen with crispy texture to make a double-layered petal. In doing so, I can prevent deformation.”

The headband on the left in the picture is with a detachable fabric flower that will allow you to move the position easily to create your own style. The creator’s recommendation is to put it just above your ear.

She continues, “With fancy yarns or laces, each fabric flower turned out refreshing and delightful items. The fabric flower will brighten you up as everything looks bright during the blooming season. It’s perfect item for you in spring and summer. Please start your spring with fabric flower while it is still cold outside.”

The fabric flower brooch gives you different ways to enjoy. As well as accessorizing your clothes, it can be a bag charm. Don’t you feel like making such an item for the coming season?

Going to titocetera’s blog, you can see her beautiful creation. The blog, which a lot of beautiful fabrics are also introduced, will give you very useful information on textiles and patterns. Worth to check it!

For her blog, go to


A Very Popular Textile from Finland

Fabrics from Scandinavian countries tend to have sophisticated designs. Their vivid colors put you in a lively mood and they are very popular for interior décor items. Today’s fabric comes from one of the most prominent and long-established Finnish textile design manufacturers, Finlayson, which has been in business since 1820. The design studio of Finlayson was established in 1951. The print fabric created by their design team is so popular that you will find their fabric literally in every household in Finland. Under the theme “fresh and sophisticated pleasure,” the new collections are introduced twice a year with two design lines, trendy and classic. Kokka is introducing five designs from the new collection. Three designs are featured in today’s column.


AJATUS design by Anu Saari,year 2006 JG-43100-1 Oxford (Ox)

  • JG43100-1_2
  • JG43100-1_3
  • JG43100-1_4

The name “Ajatus” means “a thought or an idea.” The design presents lined-up pandas in a pensive mood. With a 160cm width, it is mainly suitable for interior décor items, but it can also be turned stylishly into clothing like a dress and a shirt or a bag.

Continue reading

Garden by Ellen Luckett Baker 2

Perfect for any home project

Following the last column, we introduce three prints of GARDEN collection by Ellen Luckett Baker; Hydrangea, Crossed Leaves and Butterflies.

Hydrangea JG41700-4 cotton/linen canvas

  • 41700_4_2
  • 41700_4_3
  • 41700_4_4

“Echoing the fullness of a hydrangea, this pattern is printed in a vintage color scheme. Perfect for bags, quilts, table linens, or clothing”(Baker)

Continue reading

Garden by Ellen Luckett Baker

Inspired by Garden motif

We are very pleasd to feature Ellen Luckett Baker’s new collection, GARDEN.
“All of the prints in this collection were inspired by the geometric shapes found in the garden. Flowers, birds, butterflies, leaves and raindrops, all inspired by nature in its simplest form. The colors have a vintage feel with both bright and muted tones”(Ellen Luckett Baker)
GARDEN collection has 6 prints in total. This time we are introducing three of them. Rest of them are here.

Dutch Garden JG41700-1 cotton/linen canvas

  • 41700_1_2
  • 41700_1_3
  • 41700_1_4

“This print features birds, butterflies and raindrops. I think it has a good feel for kitchen items like placemats, hot pads or table runners”(Ellen Luckett Baker)

Continue reading