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Puffy zip pouches with happy flower print


As you know from the last article, the grand prize for the Third Annual Kokka Textile Competition went to Natsuki Camino who draws illustrations for magazines and advertisements. In addition to Camino’s illustrations, Kokka has many alluring prints designed by illustrators.

eto is one of the illustrators who has created designs for Kokka’s textiles. She produces her original zakka*) items from own brand “etocoto”, under the theme of “enhancing a little more happiness for women’s daily life!” The illustrator mentions that she includes these three elements in her designing artworks; bright color tones, enough cuteness, and stories of tiny little people.

Each of five fabrics designed by eto for Kokka, which were featured in our Textile Story column last October, has a small story and of course contains the three aforementioned elements. (Click here for details on etocoto fabric collection.) In the picture are items eto has sewn by herself using her joyful floral print named “medeta-bana”. The title is “HAPPY FLOWERS ~ puffy pouch with medeta-bana happy flowers”.

eto says, “There are four distinct color schemes in this medeta-bana print; vivid red, green, dark brown, and light spring color. Even if the pattern is the same, it can give a very different impression and image by color. The print is full of motifs such as flowers, hearts, and shamrocks, making you so happy. For these pouches, I picked red and green to cheer you up. The size is perfect to tote your makeup stuff. The branding tab sewn unremarkably into the side seam was made from a navy blue ribbon. The characteristic point of the pouch is the vintage flower button on its body.

A zip pouch with gusset is one of the most popular handmade products as well as the item of practical use. eto continues, “It could be lovely with a ladybug (instead of the flower button). If you use brown or spring-like print, why don’t you have your pouch embellished with lace? In any print or color of fabric, such a simple formed pouch can bring out your originality and creative inspiration.”

eto had a showing of her works made from etocoto fabrics at Niji Gallery in Kichijoji, Tokyo, in mid March. The five different fabrics in etocoto collection, zakka items from her own brand, and even a making kit for this pouch was on sale there, too. It was worth visiting!

For further information about the coming exhibition and her creative activity, please check her blog 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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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

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

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