If you have access to BBC iPlayer and haven't yet seen BBC 4's wonderful documentary 'The Kimono', from their superb 'Handmade in Japan' series, treat yourself for half an hour before it's no longer available (1st August).
The film takes the viewer to the small island of Amami Oshima in southern Japan and follows the handmade production of a traditional Japanese kimono - showing the incredible levels of craft, skill and dedication that goes into each stage of the process from the design, bundling and starching of the silk threads, the binding and dyeing the pattern (using local wood and river mud) to the weaving and tailoring of the finished piece. Each process is undertaken by a specialist master/mistress artisan. Awe-inspiring.
Sadly it's only viewable in the UK, but anyone who can watch it and is interested in kimonos should watch it it before it's no longer available on the 1st August. Incidentally the other episodes in the 'Handmade in Japan' series are also excellent.
Below are some screenshots from the programme - all images ©BBC Scotland
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