Scharine Kirchoff

Ryukyu Heritage Textiles




  1. Margery Hillman says:

    Hello Scharine- I love your website. It is very exciting to wander through and see what is happening. Margy

  2. Annette Kakazu says:

    I play my husband’s family’s Samisen, I would like some cloth to make a cover for it….(she was a picture bride – 1908, and the instrument is much older than that).

    • Hello Annette,
      How wonderful that you have such a wonderful Ryukyu treasure in your family. I am honored that you have contacted me regarding some fabric for your family’s samisen. I’ve recently completed some handwoven Ryukyu Kasuri. Some of the threads were hand-dyed in Ryukyu Ai (Ai Zomme). May I send you a photo of the fabric to consider? How much fabric do you require for a cover? This particular piece measures 14.25″ width (kimono width) and is 58″ long. Gratefully, Scharine

  3. West Coast: Super, Natural says:

    Such an interesting blog! I am curious about this statement regarding handspinning: “…Ito Basho threads are hand-tied first, then lightly handspun on a bamboo Basho spinning wheel. The soft twist from the spinning strengthens the thread for weaving.” Do you mean that each of the long fibres is knotted to another before any spinning takes place? I am wondering because I came across a reference from an 1800s source that said that the very long outer coat fibres of Shetland sheep were knotted together, not spun, for the superfine, gossamer ‘wedding ring’ shawls. I have some 9-12 inch Shetland wool I was thinking of trying it–but it seemed ridiculous! Maybe it is not ridiculous after all?

    • Hello,
      Happy New Year of the golden sheep to you! Yes, indeed, the individual Basho banana fiber threads are hand-tied together prior to handspinning. A single handwoven Bashofu kimono includes about 20,000 hand-tied knots! So, your idea is not ridiculous at all — why knot do it? LOL! My best, Scharine

  4. Alexandra Ilnyckyj says:

    My mother received one of your beautiful silk neck scarves in indigo. I love the sheer fabric. The size is perfect for a small framed woman. A joy to wear. Do you ship your work to Canada. I would love one. I can send a photo of hers

    • Hello Alexandra, Thank you for your note. It’s so delightful to hear that your mother received one of my hand-dyed indigo scarves. Yes, I do, indeed, ship my work worldwide. Is it, perhaps, a handwoven mulberry silk scarf? In an effort to be responsive to your interest, it would be helpful to me if you could send me a photo of your mother’s scarf via email to Meanwhile, best wishes to you in Canada! My best, Scharine

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