Over the past few years, I have seen many new local “stores” / FB groups involved in the selling of Japanese fabrics. This is great news for us crafters in this part of the world, since we can escape paying for the hefty shipping fees importing them from Japan either through Rakuten or Etsy. However, most online sellers tend to bring in the more safe and popular options in terms of brands and colorways, so it is still quite hard to find a full range of Japanese fabrics in terms of both designers/brands/substrates without having to resort to Rakuten or even better, a visit to Japan. Now when I travel to Japan, I tend to focus on fabrics that are usually not sold out of Japan, or special substrates like knit and nylon tafetta and laminated cottons. Tend I lug them back by the bagfuls, only to finish sewing them quickly and find myself needing more. I think I don’t go to Japan often enough!
And then I discovered Nekoneko fabric.
Nekoneko fabric is an online store based in Singapore (yay!) and it’s funny how I discovered it because my friend BK (aka fabric shopping partner in crime) who is always in the know for great bargains, asked me to go check this shop out because there was a sale going on.
Here’s what I found out – that Nekoneko sells not only the usual range of popular fabrics from Kokka (like lots of nani IRO), Yuwa, Lecien etc, there are also hard to find fabric types like waterproof nylon tafetta (for making wet bags/waterproof bags/eco bags), knits (yay knits!), canvas, linen, double gauze and of course cottons like cotton lawn, cotton sateen. I also discovered that they have Koizumi fabrics, which is a large fabric manufacturer in Japan but they usually sell in Japan only. I have been hoarding the Hanauta prints (see the butterflies print on the top right hand corner of the picture above?) because I can’t bear to use them up. Now that I know where to find them, I can finally use up my stash!
And here’s the best part. There is free shipping to Singapore and Malaysia for purchases over $50, which is so easily done when it comes to buying fabrics :P. Fret not if you are located overseas though, there is FLAT RATE international shipping and the shipping charges are more than reasonable! SGD8 (less than 6USD) to United States and many parts of Europe as well.
It was such a coincidence that BK asked me to check out the shop because the next day the owner of Nekoneko fabric (Jean) actually messaged me on Facebook.
I asked Jean to tell us more about Nekoneko fabric…
Tell us a little bit about Nekoneko fabric and what the name means.
Nekoneko Fabric’s name came from my love for cats, and I have wanted a fun and unique name (aside from the fact that my cats own everything anyway)
Who are the founders of Nekoneko fabric ?
Nekoneko Fabric is a family owned and run online shop based in Singapore. It was the result of years of planning and a leap of faith taken.
What inspired the creation of Nekoneko Fabric?
Legal reason to hoard fabric! Jokes aside, it started from my love for sewing and crafting, and the desire to make beautiful fabric available at an affordable price
Me : I don’t think any of us need legal reasons to hoard fabric… lol… but I’m glad you thought that way! 😛
What kind of fabrics do you sell on your online store?
We specialize in unique apparel and crafting fabric, from Japan at the moment (Nani Iro, Cotton + Steel, Kokka, Yuwa, Cosmo, Lecien, Koizumi) and we are expanding into fabric sourced from elsewhere (Indonesia, Korea, China, France). Our range includes Double Gauze, Cotton, Canvas/Oxford, Lawn, Sateen, and Nylon Taffeta.
Do you sew? if yes, what type of sewing do you do? (apparel, accessories, etc)
I am a trained apparel patternmaker who has also found a second love in crafting as well. Womenswear, mens wear, bags, small crafts. I like sewing challenging pieces e.g YSL Mondrian inspired dress, Chanel’s Little French jacket, men’s jacket in a Nani IRO double gauze etc.
Me : Wow, with skills like that I don’t think you even need a reason to hoard fabric!
What are your future plans for Nekoneko fabric?
We are planning to launch our own patterns and apparel brand in the future.
Me : Sounds awesome! Can’t wait!
Where can we follow your creations and find out the latest news about Nekoneko fabric?
You can follow our latest news on Facebook and Instagram as well!
Fast forward many convos later, a huge bag of fabrics arrived at my doorstep with lots of lovely fabrics for me to make and GIVEAWAY to my readers as well. 🙂
What this means for both me and all of you, is that for the next couple of months, you will be seeing lots of new makes with Japanese fabric from Nekoneko fabric. I will be introducing different types of fabric and with each fabric I will be holding a giveaway! I already have these lined up – Nylon tafetta (light waterproof fabric), knits, nani IRO double gauze, and of course cotton!
So the first thing I wanted to make was this wire frame handbag from the latest Cotton Friend magazine. I actually made one already but it was a failed piece because I was using a pre-cut Japanese fabric with geometric prints and being very stingy with my Japanese fabric I cut it right on the edge without thinking about the alignment of the prints. So even though it is a very cute bag I can’t get over how the centre is misaligned, which is why there are no pictures of it. But I really like this pattern and size because I keep using the “failed” bag on school runs when I only have to grab a couple of things, so I decided to make another! This time I made sure that the prints will be centralized.
When I saw this geometric circle print I knew it would be perfect! This print is from Koizumi Lifetex from the Le Depart series, and it’s a medium weight cotton canvas (85% Cotton 15% Linen) which makes it perfect for bags, aprons, pouches, bags… did I say “bags” twice? Yes because it is so cute for bags I made 2!
This is the first bag – the wire frame bag.
The bag can stand wide open by itself! So easy to rummage for stuff.
After making only 1 small bag, I had lots of fabric left. I wanted to make another that will show off more of the print.
So I did.
This is a really cute cube/box shaped bag. The leather strap was a happy find. I was actually searching for something wide and lighter for another bag pattern. And it turned out to be so matching with this print.
This is what the bag looks like when sitting on its on.
2 inner pockets for my phone and cards
I was agonizing over whether to show this photo or not because I didn’t get it to match up perfectly… sigh…
This is how the bag looks when carried. Don’t you just love the shape? This was inspired from a bag tutorial on a Japanese youtube channel (link to the tutorial here) but there is no real instruction on how to make the bag, only how to draft the pattern. It’s such a nice and roomy bag design that compliments the prints so well.
Love this print? Nekoneko fabric is very generously sponsoring 4 x 1m of this fabric in all the different colours, for a giveaway! To make things more exciting, I will be giving away 1m of a different color each day so there will be 4 days of giveaway in total. Remember, the same color won’t appear twice so comment to enter once you see the color you like!
This giveaway will be held on Instagram only and the first giveaway will start tomorrow. Follow me on Instagram – instagram.com/japanesesewingbooks to find out more!