Discovery tour of modern japanese fabrics

In a previous life, I worked in a fabric store, specialized in originals prints ; so we had a large stock of modern japanese fabrics, which became quite prominent a few years ago, with the rise of "japanese sewing", and diversification of the more traditional quilting fabrics. They are known for their originality and overall quality.

The brands you can easily find now are :

One of the most known these days, with their large selection of cute fabrics, in apparel fabrics, from canvas to jersey, with the addition of gaze.

Cosmo came to light with the gothic-lolita trend, and their sugary, heavy-patterned fabrics. You can view a part of their collection here. (click on the thumbnails on the left, whether there's one or not...)

Lecien is mainly found in the patchwork corner, but they've begun to make big patterns fabrics ; they are good for lightweight clothes like blouses, or summer skirts. They have an amazing range of dotted fabrics.

Cotton-Kobayashi is a high quality apparel fabric company. They are very design oriented, and have classical (but pretty) woven fabrics.

Kiyohara provides apparel and craft materials. They created their fabric range with designers, including Mico Ogura. Their products are very "zakka" oriented.


They have one the largest fabric collection. They aim mainly at quilting, but like the others, lately they have developped an apparel and accessories range. The patterns go from traditional to conceptual, and their latest designers include Yoshiko Jinzenji and Anyan.

First known for their embroidery collection and their patchwork fabrics, they've begun editing apparel sewing books, and apparel fabrics, mainly for children, but you can perfectly use their beautifuly textured fabrics for sewing garments. Their "Soleil" collection is always a hit.


If we mainly find in stores the taupe and beige patchwork fabrics here, Daiwabo has more cute and colorful fabrics, for general sewing. They cooperate with magazines like "Cucito" and "Cotton Friend", with accessories and child clothes creations.

As far as I know, Kokka, Cosmo-tex and Kobayashi are distributed by Seven Islands. The others have individual distributors, depending on location.

I was planning to do a small review of japanese fabric designers, but as I have listed more than 20, I will make a special post later.

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