How would you like a lovely one-of-a-kind parasol made with material from an authentic kimono?
Part of the charm of kimono is that it can be passed down for generations, and then when it can no longer be worn, it can eventually be cut and repatterned into various other forms such as kitchen cloths, geta sandal straps, or even wedding dresses.
Well, it looks like we’ve found another way for kimono to be recycled, and into a very attractive item too!
Akizakura, a unique brand that will be offering items with an eco-friendly and Japanese theme, have just announced their very first product line — parasols made from used Japanese kimono!
The beautiful part about this product line is that you can have your own kimono turned into a one-of-a-kind parasol, meaning that it adds new life to the kimono that you — and possibly several generations of your family before you — have cherished.
Since the item is made-to-order, you can also discuss the process in detail beforehand and make sure that the precise part of the kimono with the pattern you want used goes into the making of the parasol.
And if you don’t have a kimono that can be used for this purpose, you don’t have to worry, they can provide kimono fabric for you to choose from as well.
The parasols, or higasa as they are called in Japanese, are made with a water and oil repellent finish, but the material used is silk kimono fabric, so they really aren’t for use in the rain. In Japan, however, it’s relatively common for women to use higasa when outdoors, especially in the warm months to protect themselves from the harsh sunlight, so there should be plenty of people interested in such an item.
The brand name “Akizakura” comes from the kanji characters for the name of the cosmos flower in Japanese, and the name was apparently chosen because the cosmos symbolizes “harmony” (which is what “cosmos” means in Greek), and also because the very first parasol they made featured a cosmos pattern.
The idea of harmony works in well with the brand, because they are trying to emphasize with their products the eco-friendly concept of “re-” as in recycling, re-using and re-making, which they hope will lead to less waste and eventually, fewer reasons for conflict in the world.
▼ Here’s the parasol with the cosmos pattern that they first made:
▼ Here’s another beautiful Akizakura creation…
▼ …and the kimono it was made from.
▼ You can get an idea here of how the kimono is cut
and the pieces patterned into an umbrella shape.
According to the information released by Akizakura, the parasols take about one month to complete, and the price is listed as starting from 30,0000 yen (US$270), but we’re guessing that the cost varies depending on your order and whether you provide your own kimono.
Currently, it appears there is no official website for Akizakura, and you need to contact them through their Facebook page to place orders. The process might take a little time, but it sure looks like you’ll get a stunning product out of it. Now if only they could add on color-changing cat paws that remind you to put on sunscreen….