echino 15th Anniversary – Message from the designer and kokka fabric

This past October, echino celebrated its 15th anniversary. In commemoration of this special occasion, we designated October as the month of echino, featuring interviews of two popular handicraft artists, Yuki Inomata and Mioko Sugino, and introduced craft & sewing projects with echino fabrics all throughout the month. We hope you enjoyed our special celebration.

2006 – the year that echino started
Pattern ideas from the designer, Etsuko Furuya – the very concept that started echino
These patterns were dyed directly on the fabric by Furuya

echino Catalogues

echino – Traveling Around The World

2006 First Exhibition Booth – Houston, USA

Nantes, France

Cologne, Germany

Seoul, South Korea

Many memories over the last 15 years come to mind.
We know that it was not always easy for Ms. Furuya to constantly be creating attractive designs. For that we are truly grateful and we feel fortunate to have been able to work with her for all these years.
With the love and support of our fans to echino’s fantastic design, we have been able to continue to this point. Thank you to all.

The journey of echino will continue – Stay tuned for more to come.

Lastly, here is a message from echino’s designer, Etsuko Furuya.

As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the echino fabric collection, I would like to thank everyone who has picked up echino fabric and everyone who has been involved with echino.
I would like to reiterate how happy I feel that this series is loved by so many people around the world.

It was fifteen years ago that I first met the textile manufacturer, KOKKA.
During that time, working with KOKKA and their team who have been actively involved in the development of various textiles, was very reassuring. They were willing to try new things and it was very encouraging to see how they valued new approaches and development of projects that appreciated the uniqueness of echino. And above all, they worked with me to pave the way with the notion “to have a good time together, and to enrich our lives together.” I am deeply grateful for all these years.

The number of original fabrics that I have designed for each season amounts to over 200 patterns. If we include fabrics in different colors, materials, techniques, and methods, we have over 800 kinds of textiles…

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary, I had a chance to look back on these textiles that I love. The memories of the various times I experienced and unexpected emotions came back to me, and it made me realize that “the textiles are indeed interesting!”

I am determined to keep working on expressing the world of echino in the form of textiles and create attractive materials. I hope you will continue to enjoy my work.

I look forward to getting connected with you through the fabric of echino! Thank you for your support.

echino / Etsuko Furuya

Three-Piece Set for School – Lesson Bag, Shoe Case and Gym Clothes Bag – Sewing Instructions

A three-piece set of a lesson bag, shoe case and gym clothes bag, created with fruits 100% fabric series. Featuring a large-sized fruit motif, this cotton 100% Oxford is easy to sew, a perfect fit for sewing beginners.

Design & Work:Kokka Fabric

Fabric shown for this sample:YPA−29010−1D

□ Outer Fabric A: about 110cm wide x 80cm
□ Outer Fabric B: about 110cm wide x 30cm
□ Lining Fabric: about 110cm wide x 70cm
□ Fusible Interfacing (medium weight): about 90cm wide x 70cm
□ Flat Tape: 25mm wide x 100cm
□ D Ring: Once piece (25mm wide)
□ Round Cord (medium): 150cm

サイズ:Lesson Bag: about 28cm (l) x about 40cm (w) x 4cm (d) (handles excluded)
Shoes Case: about 28cm (l) x about 23cm (w) x about 4cm (d)
Gym Clothes Bag: about 35cm (l) x about 30cm (w)
◎Sewing Instructions

◎Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

Tote Bag with Convenient Tucked Outer Pockets for Organizing Small Items♪ – Sewing Instructions

*All Rights Reserved.  Please refrain from the unauthorized use of project photos.

A collection of large flowers beautifully covers the outer pocket of this tote bag. The opening of the outer pocket is accented by folding back the solid dark blue-grey echino fabric used for the lining. The outer pockets around the bag are useful for sorting small items. The fabric used is a new pattern [nabana] from the series commemorating echino’s 15th anniversary. It depicts a landscape pattern of large blooming flowers growing upright.

Design & Work:Yuki Inomata

Fabric shown for this sample:(Outer Fabric, Patch Fabric) EKX-97400-400D
(Panel Lining Fabric) JG-95410-10K
(Pocket Lining Fabric, Bottom Fabric) JG-95410-10O

□ Fabric (Outer Fabric, Patch Fabric): 110cm wide×1m
(Panel Lining Fabric): 53cm×80cm
(Pocket Lining Fabric, Bottom Fabric): 100cm×60cm
□ Fusible Interfacing: 90cm x 1.1m
□ Tape: 4.5cm widex2.5m
□ Magnetic Hook (Insert type): One pair (1.8cm diameter)

Size: 31cm (l) 51cm (w – opening) 35cm (bottom) 16cm (d)

We interviewed Yuki about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
The pattern and colors were seasonal, so I was excited to create a piece that would be perfect for the season. While the pattern is large, I designed it so that I could make the most of all the elements. I am glad that the finished bag has a feel of a story behind it.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
This time, I tried to tailor it like it was a canvas, a material which is usually avoided for household sewing machines. For this reason, I tried to make it look the same as when making it with canvas, though I have not usually applied interfacing to canvas fabric. By adding tucks to the outer pocket to create more room, it generated a lively look for the pattern, making the bag more stylish than expected.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
It is possible to finish without applying fusible interlining, but if you want to create some structure, as in this case, it is recommended to utilize the interfacing. This bag with tucked pockets, if the matchmarks are misplaced, the entire shape will be misaligned. Be sure to check the position of the first mark before proceeding. The process is basically the same even if the width of the handle changes. If the width is too wide, please change the width of the handles you prepare. Since this article is posted for the winter season, I made the shoulder a little longer to match a winter coat. If you want to make it in summer with a different fabric, shorten the handles by 5cm to fit your body and make it easier to carry. You will enjoy making this bag more if you imagine how you will use it in each season. I hope you will enjoy choosing fabrics when the seasons change!

KF: How should we incorporate this bag into one’s styling?
This time, since the article is published in winter, I dared to match it with a seasonal brown color from the selection of kokka’s fabric, which is usually characterized by its pop and bright patterns. This is a large open tote that is convenient for shopping, traveling, and family visits. It also has a lot of outside pockets for sorting small items when you have more luggage on your trip. Of course, it also works great as an eco-friendly bag! I hope you will find it useful for different purposes.

KF: Thank you very much, Yuki! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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echino 15th Anniversary – Special Interview #2 – Mioko Sugino, Handicraft Artist

For our second interview series, we invited a handicraft artist, Mioko Sugino.
Not only has she continuously presented us with wonderful works and recipes on our craft & sewing site, she, as komihinata, keeps herself busy. 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?

Mioko Sugino (MS): All of them left such an impression on me. Honestly, it is difficult to choose just one… well, if I have to pick one, then it would be “sprout.” I fell in love with this pattern at first sight when I saw it at the store. I loved the color, the pattern, the size, and everything else about it, so I bought two colors without hesitation. I still have some left, and am carefully using it little by little.

▲Works using the 2018 echino collection, sprout

KF: We are thrilled to learn that you are still using the rest of them…little by little.
You have created various works with echino fabrics. When making items using this fabric, what did you find the nicest things about them or anything challenging that you encountered?

MS:Thanks to the striking colors and patterns that are unique to echino, any creations turn out to look stylish with a strong impact even when they are made simply. It is a delightful aspect of this fabric. While I don’t find it difficult to use per se, sometimes it takes time to find fabrics that complement the unique colors of echino.

KF: The colors of echino are very special. That’s why echino’s line of solids with a variety of colors is very useful, isn’t it?

▲echino Solid Series

KF: To sum up, what do you think makes the echino so special?

MS:The first time I saw echino was at a large handicraft store. They had an area setup with echino fabrics. I felt the love of the store staff as they had even prepared a signboard. I clearly remember being drawn to the fabrics as they had such different feel unlike all the rest. The patterns and colors are clearly “echino”, and I think that presence, which was quite memorable, is what makes them so attractive.

Square Bag With a Diagonal Handle (2017)

Large Shopping Bag (2021)

Ribbon Tote Bag (2021)

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

MS: Large patterns are attractive, but I would be happy to see more small patterns like “sprout” that look lovely even if only a small portion is used! Also, I hope for an introduction of stripes and dots in echino colors.

KF:The echino standard series also include a small dot designs.

MS:So you do have dots! I would love to use them.

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

MS:What I have in mind is a teddy bear made with a mishmash of remnants. For example, this part uses the piece from that pouch, and this section uses a leftover from that bag, and so on. Well, to be honest I am not very good at making stuffed animals, so I don’t expect the outcome to be amazing (laughs).

I think it would be fun to create a space coordinated in echino colors, by using the fabric for seat upholstery, curtains and throw pillows.

KF:We are excited to see your teddy bear. We cannot wait to introduce your echino-colored room on Kokka Fabric website.

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.