On our recent trip to Japan, we stumbled across an interesting brand, whose tactile approach to textiles grabs your attention, leaving you wanting to know more...
Nora-Add translates as 'freely-add', and this, in essence, is the company's approach to design: freely adding materials and layers of fabric to create something new from old materials.
Specialising in reworking vintage fabrics, especially those of traditional Japanese origins, Nora-Add produce carefully crafted, everyday items which have an undeniable unique beauty.
Constructed using reconstituted components, reclaimed from vintage sources: leather, fabric and lining materials are all chosen to complement each other and heighten each items individual charm.
Traditional cloths such as boro & sashiko have a deep connection to Japan's cultural heritage; being repaired, re-repaired and endlessly patched as garments were handed down across generations out of necessity, cannibalising one item to repair another.
Boro Cloth is exactly this: a cloth which is an amalgamation of cannibalised textiles; a patchwork of repairs woven together, sometimes so extensively it is impossible to pinpoint the originating fabric.
If boro-cloth (shortened from ’Boroboro’, a Japanese term for tattered and ragged) is the final result of a string of repairs, Sashiko is the decorative stitch which holds the 'rags' together.
Sashiko (meaning 'little-stabs' referring to the pinpoint stitch ) is a form of strengthening worn clothing, reinforcing weakened fabric with an embellishment of stitching, often geometric patterns, which run through the cloth adding layers for warmth and simple quilting. A story goes that the white stitch, which makes sashiko so recognisable, was used to stand out when being worked on in the dim lit evenings at home.
Though common throughout the Edo periods when cloth was sparse, cotton expensive and silks reserved for the rich, these traditional techniques began to fade out of usage by the Miji period, as cheaper western clothing became more readily available, and the basic standard of living began to rise and these working garments were sadly viewed as an embarrassing reminder of a working class and impoverished history.
Luckily, the incredible craft and beauty of these fabrics has brought around a resurgence of interest and usage by modern designers and manufacturers, Nora-Add being just one.
The small collection we bought back grabbed our attention due to the mix of fabrics and tactile nature of the item, each piece being utterly unique.
Available in-store only.