Japanese fabrics have been popular with my customers since the early years of my business. When I first started making bags it was great to be able to use fabrics that weren’t solid colors. During all the years I worked in factories making backpacks and bike gear, I mostly sewed black fabrics, with the occasional red, grey or purple as accents.
When I begin to buy cotton prints for my bags I had a very limited range. I liked green and flowers. 😀 I had to push myself to expand my viewpoint and look at fabrics that might not normally catch my eye.
When I started selling my bags at a local shop the owner liked the Asian fabrics and as we looked at catalogues together she pointed out some. I would never have looked at them in the past but I started to pay attention. Wow, these were some amazing images, many symbolizing great qualities. I was hooked and the rest is history. I have boxes of Asian prints now.
Cranes symbolize happiness, eternal youth, good fortune and longevity. Koi symbolize strength, courage and perseverance. Bamboo symbolizes prosperity, purity and innocence. Maneki-neko is the lucky or beckoning cat and is a symbol of good fortune.