This beautiful bag was made by Keiko Goke and given to me as a gift. The front panel is an antique textile covered in kogin embroidery... and it is just lovely.
Kogin, or kogin-zashi, is a type of embroidery invented in the far northern part of Japan several hundred years ago. Its a variation of sashiko and was originally used as a way to reinforce clothing, particularly linen, during the Edo period when common people were forbidden to wear cotton.
Kogin embroidery is made using tiny, horizontal stitches, close to each other, that align with the weave of the fabric. Traditional kogin patterns are very geometric and are made with white thread on indigo fabrics.
I love that this antique textile has been made into something modern and useful. And I especially love that it is made by such a talented artist as Keiko Goke. I'm taking home a little bit of her talent and a little bit of Japan's long history with textiles.
A treasure for sure! Thank you Keiko!