As you may know, I am very passionate about finding unique items to add to the Shibattitude webshop. I don't ever buy "ready to go" items that say "Made in China" for instance. As wonderful as that may sound, that philosophy comes with some challenges.
For instance: In Europe, it is very hard to come by traditional Japanese materials. Fabrics with Japanese prints on them are impossible to find here. And online shopping for fabrics is tricky aswell, since I don't get to feel and experience fabrics before purchasing them. A while ago I did order fabric online, but when it was delivered, the fabric was of such bad quality that I never used it for the webshop.
So...at first, the dream of making collars using traditional fabrics was put on hold...But about one year ago my luck changed! Because I met Sachiko. She is a wonderful Japanese lady, living in the Netherlands. I met her when I attended a Japanese Calligraphy Workshop. A few times a year, her mother (still living in Japan) sends over gifts for her grandkids. About 2x a year, Sachiko's mother visits a fabric shop for me where she buys the Red and Green Karakusa Fabric. I am really very happy with this, because it gives me the chance to keep these wonderful and popular collars in stock for you at all times. She makes sure the fabric is of a very sturdy quality with the print woven into it in stead of just painted on.
So, for about a year or so, I've bee able to offer the Karakusa Collars. But...Japan has got so many wonderful prints and fabrics to offer that a few weeks ago I started thinking about adding more designs to the webshop. The only challenge was, again, finding the right place to buy the fabrics. In comes Nico!
Nico is a Shikoku breeder from The Netherlands that I regularly meet at dog shows. He is a very passionate breeder who absolutely loves his Shikoku. Some are born in his home, some have been imported from Japan (to make sure there are enough bloodlines to get a healthy breeding population. A few weeks ago, he took a short trip to Japan to bring home the newest addition to their Shikoku family: Puppy Sakura.
While in Japan, he promised me to look out for shops that sell traditional fabrics. And on an early sunday morning, about 2 weeks ago, he messaged me through facebook stating: "I am in a shop RIGHT NOW!". Nico sent me pictures of one fabulous fabric after another. You should have seen me sitting here behing my computer. Yelling "oooh!" and "aaaaah!" after every picture he sent me. The fabrics all looked so beautiful!
In the end, I had to make a decision. I couldn't have him bring home EVERY fabric in the shop haha. So...we decided on a few (SEVEN!!) different fabrics. Some very colourful and some very elegant and adult. And these fabrics are on their way to my friend Jennifer right now, who is going to make a wonderful new collection of collars out of them. And in this blog...ofcourse a little preview for you guys!
Which of these fabrics would you choose for a collar for your furriend?