It's true - I am addicted to fabric. And nothing beats natural fabrics - especially cottons.
Wool is a natural insulator. Natural cotton breathes with your body. Linen products can last generations, becoming softer after each use. Why wouldn't you want to sew with natural fibres?
Mano feels the same way..."As I handle each fabric, I try to think of what the most suitable use for it might be. I'm pleased when I can find that use, when I can make something without changing the nuances of the cloth even if I change it's form, when the essential nature of the material remains."
She has produced patterns for items using each type of material. In the wool section, there are instructions for blankets, socks and a unique Mary Jane slipper. Mano gives us ideas for linen aprons, duvet covers and pillowcases. I hadn't considered pillowcases of linen before, but I bet they would be incredibly soft on your skin. In the cotton section, she uses many different weights, producing patterns for items such as floor mats, shoe bags, jumpers and lunch bags. At the end there are notes on preparing your fabric and equipment needed, as well as some online resources.
All of the 25 patterns included in the book are accompanied by clear, concise instructions with diagrams. Each project is also photographed in colour. The photographs underline the clean, spare lines of Mano's designs. The are simple, yet beautiful, echoing the Japanese craft style. Beginning and experienced sewers would be able to reproduce the patterns shown.
This is the first time this book has been offered in English. I found it fascinating to read a craft book from another country and especially enjoyed the photographs.