An Ode to Japanese Fabric

I just raed a really great article  on Japanese culture, history, and japanese fabric.  It is written by Gary Bloom, owner of an online store Kyoto Collection.

This is a really good source to help you get into the mind of a Japanese. Here is a short cart of it….

“I started buying and selling new and vintage fabric soon after I made Kyoto my home in 1998 and I’m still just as enthralled by the city in general and textiles in particular all these years later.

I hadn’t planned on making fabric my focus before I got here, but it didn’t take long for me to get hooked on Kyoto’s famed monthly temple markets, rousing myself before dawn on market days to go treasure hunting and practice some Japanese in the process.

I had a second hand extendable camping backpack that I’d bought with outdoor adventuring in mind that I instead requisitioned for use on market mornings.  Though I never have gotten around to the camping, that pack has more than earned its keep, stuffed full like a fisherman’s creel by mid-morning on so many occasions with kimono and other finds!

There are many angles from which we can look at this fascinating world-material and how it’s woven, dyeing techniques, motifs, and the way in which a given fabric was used by its owner.

Here, rather than try to write an encyclopedic overview, I’d like to explore the world of Japanese fabric in more general terms that put it in a larger context and give a sense of the dynamism that makes it such a rewarding and sometimes addictive pursuit.”

Get on over there and take a look at it!

The Spectacular Maple Bonsai

The maple bonsai is one of the most spectacular styles of bonsai that can be grown. Like many other bonsai, the maple bonsai must be replanted once every year or two, dependent on the type of maple that you have.

Japanese maples tend to be used, as this species of tree is traditionally associated with bonsai growing. As the art of bonsai growth has evolved, other forms of maple bonsai have come to the forefront, especially in the United States and Canada.

When caring for a maple bonsai, you need to learn about maple trees in general. A maple bonsai has the same care rules as a fully grown maple of the same species.

A maple bonsai needs additional care due to the fact that it is grown in such a small pot. When looking for this information, you should use resources specific to the maple bonsai tree, as typical tree tending does not include this information.

Some forms of maple bonsai do not take well to extremely cold temperatures. A greenhouse may be required for storing your maple bonsai if you live in a colder region that goes beyond the normal habitat of these trees.

If you are interested in purchasing a maple bonsai, you can buy seeds, a seedling, or even a full grown tree through an online vendor, or you can inquire about these trees at your local garden or plant nursery.

Using Quality Soil for Your Bonsai

Having a good bonsai soil is a vital part of keeping your bonsai healthy. For the beginner, selecting a good bonsai soil is a daunting task. For the experienced bonsai grower, a good soil makes the difference between a thriving, healthy tree and one that will only survive a few months to a year.

Bonsai trees require quick draining soil that maintains its shape in order to stay alive. Due to the small amount of space that a bonsai has to work with, if you do not have good soil, root rot is much more likely to occur.

This can be particularly damaging to pine bonsai trees, as well as junipers. If you want to use soils prone to breaking apart or decomposing, such as organic soils, you will need to make certain that the tree you use this soil type with is able to handle root bearing at least once or twice a year.

One of the most popular types of bonsai soil available on the market is inorganic soils. This type of inorganic soil is acceptable for many varieties of bonsai trees.

Acquiring good bonsai soil can be difficult if you do not know where to look. Bonsai soil can be found in the most unusual of places, including hardware stores, auto parts stores and pet supply stores. Bonsai resellers online will typically acquire their soils from these types of places and make blends suitable for certain types of trees.

When you purchase bonsai soil, it is important that you test the soil prior to use. Good quality soils will not break down easily. You should not be able to crush it in your hand easily, or break it when doused in water and then frozen.

Bonsai soil that breaks down like this will typically not last a long time and can cause some problems with certain varieties of trees.