Kinchaku are drawstring bags originally designed in Ancient Japan to hold money and later small personal items. While I’ve made many for specific uses, like the kinchaku I made for the Hand-fasting cord I created for my first wedding, this series was about breaking away from the constraints that come with custom design.
I set out with my first series to create a set of elegant, completely handmade kinchaku. All of the fabrics are cotton, purchased from Piece by Piece Fabrics in Eugene, Oregon, and the drawstring is hand-dyed satin rattail, dyed in my studio. I used cotton sashiko thread from Japan for the sashiko portion.
Each bag in this series is lined with a playful retro-style print that matches the outer fabrics, offering a light-hearted air to each that connects them as a single series. The outer fabrics are a selection of batiks that spoke to me of playfulness, joy, and peace. I used the same blue for each piece in this series as well as for the decorative ends on the drawstrings.
I chose sashiko patterns for each that convey a sense of motion and stillness, straight and round. Together, they describe balance and harmony. On their own, each is designed to invoke a sense of elegance and beauty.