Contributed by Evelyn Leung.
As someone who has been constructing garments for over a decade using western techniques, visiting the workshops of these Japanese craftsmen has been the most enlightening experience. Hearing the meditative “chunk-kathunk” of the weaving looms and seeing the silk fabric growing millimeter by millimeter as tiny slivers of gold paper are woven in has given me new appreciation for kimono and obi, and their exorbitant price tags are well-justified.
The delicacy required to apply the gold leaf is astounding, just like the resultant products. It is obvious that each of these craftsmen has great skill, developed by years of training.
I only wish that I would have had a chance to try all these techniques at their respective workshops, but then I’d probably owe them thousands of dollars for messing up their projects.