Millinery supply in Japan

I have a feeling we like to think the grass is always greener on the other side . It only looks like it and it depends what one sees as " greener". 

i walked the streets of Kyoto and Tokyo to find anything to do with hats .  

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I flound this place in Tokyo and it has a number of basic things you might want if you make hats . They seam to cater to people also who have no hat blocks and they rent them out for $50 over night .  

 

 The blocks seam hard wood and are quit basic

The blocks seam hard wood and are quit basic

Feathers seam quit expensive to me. I saw an ostrich now for a lot of money .I think it was around $60 for one plume. Well maybe Torb and Reiner is too cheap!

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There are wonderful flower making tools of course . The land of little things and beautiful flowers need them . There are 2 types . Brass made in Japan and stainless steel made in China . The brass are better of course . 

 Staring price around $5 a piece going up to about $20

Staring price around $5 a piece going up to about $20

What was a bit exiting to me was that they have esparterie lacker . What depressed me is that you can not fly with it. 

what does one use it for you may ask ? Well you paint the esparterie blocks once they are made to harden them and you do this in 2-3 layers and in the end iron it .  

 Flammable and can not be posted  

Flammable and can not be posted  

There are many straws and felt to be had and the colours are quit conservative . Nothing jumped out at me . They sell Leno which is great to see that there is skills used in other countries which are  Almost a forgotten skill and material . 

 

 Leno in black and white . Torb and Rwiner carries it too  

Leno in black and white . Torb and Rwiner carries it too  

The flower making tools for a large flowers are stunning . You can order them . Made in Japan off course for a sweet $950 . Xmas present maybe  

 Brass flower and aluminium base. Very heavy  

Brass flower and aluminium base. Very heavy  

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The felts are imported and most of them are velour felts. Must say I saw a lot of wool too. Not sure who buys the hats as I do not see them being worn in the street  

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Now this device is super cool and I bought one for the shop . Measures the head perfectly and gives you a feeling of a hat on your head. 

Torb and Reiner might have to import them  

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You can buy of course ready plastic peaks as a pattern . You can make them yourself in all sorts of seizes and not expensive . $10 or so but you could cut your pattern out of an ice cream lid 😜 

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The quality of straws varies greatly . Also here one day the old stock will go down as no one weaves fine quality anymore . Many people I have been told also do not care about fine straws as they are to expensive and they don't really see the need for it . I met a beautiful milliner from Oska who was a wealth of knowledge and insight into a culture for me .  You can buy straws for around $90 and some cheaper 

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My first visit to Japan was amazing . I feel Nothing  but warmth for the people and places and not once did I feel crowed in . I was in tears many times for the generosity I was shown and feel humbled for being aloud to share my skills.

This without a doubt feels like a beginning of a long love relationship . 

 ありがとうございました

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Great fabric shop and hats made in France

Another busy day . A student told be to go to a fabric store hidden in a small lane and dutifully I obliged. Well I left a lot of money there . Found a lot of interesting tools which will aid my spring collection . Also stuff I might not use but it's beautiful

 Hat shop with many mass produced hats  .There are a lot around actually 

Hat shop with many mass produced hats  .There are a lot around actually 

Some shops are full with hair ornaments for the kimono fashion and there were button shops and ribbon shops . People still make a lot here themselves or have it tailored.

 Hair ornaments for kimono fashion  

Hair ornaments for kimono fashion  

japan is a feast for the eyes and there are so so many little shops hidden where the different trades still work . The woman in the street is elegant and understated and all walk in the same base . No feeling of being rushed . I could get used to this . Even with so many people I do not feel overwhelmed . I have that feeling more in Melbourne . Seams to have so much more chaos and noise . 

 Fourthies and Fifties fashion is celebrated as its the 7o bday for the shop 

Fourthies and Fifties fashion is celebrated as its the 7o bday for the shop 

I saw some terribly badly made hats using silk abaca with a French label . I can not think of a student who would do such bad work . Really disappointed just because made in France. It surprised me to see it for sale . Japanese do know quality but not when it comes to hats by the lol if it.

 Perfect for pretty things . It Gotta have lace  

Perfect for pretty things . It Gotta have lace  

Am on the train now and  I am sitting next to a man who is making for Australian standards very impolite noises by not using a tissue . They quit happily pick their nose , look at the finds and swipe it in the pants .

Have not seen tissues around in any once hand yet but they are starting to hand them out in the street as promotion education .

Japan in so many ways is so advanced and than again super behind .

No one eats on trains or in the street walking . I like that ! Makes you stop to sit down . What is annoying you have to take shoes if when you go into a change room to try on a top ......not that any do fit me I have to add. Well ..:... Issey Myake does

 Badly made French hats . Silk abaca does NOT want to be used in that way  . No the wrinkles are not part of the design and yes there are wrinkles everywhere 

Badly made French hats . Silk abaca does NOT want to be used in that way  . No the wrinkles are not part of the design and yes there are wrinkles everywhere 

not impressed with the hats from France . Terrible use of silk abaca

 And another one which seamed to have missed quality control . Paris cloth does not like to be treated like this either . I find it hard to be polite on things as such or turn a blind eye when we are talking $500 upwards . I let it pass out of China for $ 29.95

And another one which seamed to have missed quality control . Paris cloth does not like to be treated like this either . I find it hard to be polite on things as such or turn a blind eye when we are talking $500 upwards . I let it pass out of China for $ 29.95

 More hair ornaments. Yes tiny hats get worn too. Now there is a market 😜 

More hair ornaments. Yes tiny hats get worn too. Now there is a market 😜 

 Oh I could have bought a LOT of buttons there but I did restrain myself  

Oh I could have bought a LOT of buttons there but I did restrain myself  

Looking for hats

Everywhere I go I try to catch people wearing hats, buying hats , trying in hats . 

The hat departments here are well looked after and no one manhandles hats as we seam to do in Australia . There are signs how to pick hats up and people are very respectful . 

As long hats have ribbons and bows here and a bit of lace they have more chance of being bought . There are a lot of paper braid hats around and some from Italy made from laichow . The prices vary from about $ 45  - $ 550 for the Italian once . 

I saw hats today for over $1200  

 Loved her walking stick  

Loved her walking stick  

 This lady was very elegant in a velour felt which I have not seen many off

This lady was very elegant in a velour felt which I have not seen many off

 Plenty of fabric hats one can see and many are very well made . It's obvious the once made in chin and the once made in Japan . The attention to detail is much bigger  

Plenty of fabric hats one can see and many are very well made . It's obvious the once made in chin and the once made in Japan . The attention to detail is much bigger  

 Hat by Levin in a raffia material you can get at Tirb and Reiner  

Hat by Levin in a raffia material you can get at Tirb and Reiner  

 People trying on hats without assistant  

People trying on hats without assistant  

 Italian cliche laichow straw and ahi or flower $550

Italian cliche laichow straw and ahi or flower $550

 Another straw made in Italy  

Another straw made in Italy  

 Vivienne Westwood around $150

Vivienne Westwood around $150

Kyoto workshop

Do be in Jori Johnsons workroom is a great honor and a great joy. She is a true master of her skill with felt and design. 

Do be surrounded by fabrics and yarns and felt makes my heart skip a beat. 

In Japan felt is of very very high qaulity and it gets worked and rolled and stretched and rolled and worked some ore . One sleeve is a day's work . 

Japan is well know for its masters and skills and I must say this is not true for all I see as I search .  one thing is for sure , Kyoto needs some milliners . Australia you can stand PROUD for what you do . Your design might not be Japanese but your skills of exicution are very high . 

 

 Stretching of felt  

Stretching of felt  

 Checking for thin spots  

Checking for thin spots  

 turning of sleeve  

turning of sleeve  

 wool and silks  

wool and silks  

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The search for hats

Everywhere I go I try to find hats, learn about hats and wonder about hats. I must say I am disappointed what I see in the greets of Kyoto . Very little hats are worn and the once there are seam quit simple do I dare to say conservative?Young people wearing again more kimonos I was told cause it's cool and they like doing their hair and put flowers and things into it . The dressing up by foreigners in kimonos brought out something in the locals and they wear them more now again also and off course do it " proberly ". 

There is some groovy fashion but not much .( I guess groovy means different things to us all) The Exhibitions I went too taught me about layering of silk kimono colours , horsehair hats, how to make and drink tea and the weaving of kimonos after dying them with Natrual dyes .  

Thank you Kyoto for another day  

 Worn for Emperors ceremonies made from horsehair  

Worn for Emperors ceremonies made from horsehair  

 Layering of kimono colours  

Layering of kimono colours  

 Worn at emperors ceremonies hat stitched with silk embroidery  

Worn at emperors ceremonies hat stitched with silk embroidery  

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 The iPhone matches the kimono

The iPhone matches the kimono

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Poor joy to see colour in a se of black and grey  

 Emperors hat lackerd . Who ever thought this up ? And why? 

Emperors hat lackerd . Who ever thought this up ? And why? 

 Display  

Display  

 A side Street near Sanjio

A side Street near Sanjio

 Beautiful flowers in hair which often include some material of kimonos  

Beautiful flowers in hair which often include some material of kimonos  

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One way to wear and obi

 Old hand done Shibori work  

Old hand done Shibori work  

 Tea ceremony  

Tea ceremony  

 A loved way of transport  

A loved way of transport  

 Handbags a very very important and loved accessory  

Handbags a very very important and loved accessory  

 And this is NOT made in Japan it's a Habig hat Made in Vienna ...... 

And this is NOT made in Japan it's a Habig hat Made in Vienna ...... 

Little Prince Museum

Who would have thought I go and see the little prince museum and there you go I did. 

You pay your money, walk through the gate and voila you are in France. Chalet, music, surrounds and all. And many giggling girls jumping of joy in groups with selfie sticks. 

I learned for the first time about the man behind the book who wrote many books and did not live to see the sucess of the last book 'The little prince'

This book seams was his personal story of growing up privileged , a thinker and philosopher and always trying to find a meaningful place in the world for himself. He dreamed and searched till to the end it seamed . 

It felt to me before he crashed with his plane he had come to the understanding that you can not see the truth nor hear it . Freedom and truth of living is felt in the heart. 

Happy for him that writing the book (the child within him) helped him see. He was born 1day before my bday. Also a sensitive, thoughtful and inquiring cancerian by the looks of it. 

 The little princes surrounded by women as he was as a grown up

The little princes surrounded by women as he was as a grown up

 Can't live without selfie sticks

Can't live without selfie sticks

 French French French  

French French French  

 The Rose which seamed to symbolise his love for France

The Rose which seamed to symbolise his love for France

 His childhood home

His childhood home

 The chalet he grew up in

The chalet he grew up in

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 Sometimes a split happens , find where it happened and repair it

Sometimes a split happens , find where it happened and repair it

 Leaving the Libary of information  

Leaving the Libary of information  

Hakone open air sculpture museum

This place blew my mind . I would like to come back here every season to see the art in different light in between the leaves and trees of this beautiful place nestled in the mountains. 

the one thing which was somewhat weird was to see the name of Picasso SUPER huge in the land scape . 

One can wander for hours and not see it all if one takes its time .

A place of reflection, relaxation and not to be missed should you ever come here . 

 Children's playground  

Children's playground  

 Don't look at me I am shy  

Don't look at me I am shy  

 Silver balls hanging in the air  

Silver balls hanging in the air  

 Climbing playground

Climbing playground

 Food bath

Food bath

 Sometimes We all fall on our noses  

Sometimes We all fall on our noses  

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People in a part of Kyoto

As I walk in the area where I am I feel like stepping back into the place I was brought up nearly 60 years ago. The speed is slow and quit and between houses there are small areas where people grow veggies in the bit of garden or boxes . Much is improvised and made from things one has lying around . There is a lot of moss on stones and the walls of houses which suggests to be a lack of sun light to dry it all up. 

No one wears bike helmets and the kids ride the bike as I used to do and putting someone even on the back . The tiny super market has not much on the shelves but enough for what one needs . Many old people walk hunched over pointing to a physical long labouros life. No coffee shop and no meeting places . As I walk the streets I can hear the sound of looms in tin sheds just like we had in our village . My goodness how I have stepped back in time and I am only on the out skirt of Kyoto.

 Anything can be bought from venting machines  

Anything can be bought from venting machines  

 Bike stands I am very used too from my school days

Bike stands I am very used too from my school days

 Things get grown wherever there is space  

Things get grown wherever there is space  

 Easy ride on a bike  

Easy ride on a bike  

 Growing things between houses  

Growing things between houses  

 Kids playing in a small park  

Kids playing in a small park  

 I still do not understand the toys in cars  

I still do not understand the toys in cars  

Hatmobile driver in Japan

Japan is a fascinating place indeed . People are polite and helpful and there are no rubbish bins anywhere.  

Yes there are many people and they all move fluidly in their goabouts . 

Tokyo and Kyoto which I have so far visited remind me of Melbourne with their fashion . A sea of black and grey moves towards me and away from me daily . Quit a few hats are worn but I have not seen anything outrageous yet.

Craftman ship is amazing in all things they do . Art  is breath taking . 

 These images are taken in Hakone open air sculpture park  

These images are taken in Hakone open air sculpture park  

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 Fantastic play ground for children under 12 years  

Fantastic play ground for children under 12 years  

 The perfect Selfie. Find Wally

The perfect Selfie. Find Wally

 Tokyo Railway station  

Tokyo Railway station  

Audrey is waiting

Audrey the Hatmibile is ready to go on her next trip but has you wait as I her driver is going of on her own to Japan first . 

I,Waltraud like writing and sharing about my travels and the things I see . My focus of course is on hats, fashion and art but all those things would not be without the people making them and wearing them. I also enjoy seeing the world and making sense of life through metaphors .

I invite you to travel with me. Sometimes as I drive Audrey the Hatmobile and sometimes without her.

The world is there to be seen, lived in and learned from . 

 Waiting waiting waiting  

Waiting waiting waiting