About bamboo reed

About bamboo reed

June 29, 2011

It was about ten years ago, when I still lived in Japan. My friend Scotty asked me to buy some bamboo reeds from Japan for her project. At that time, I hadn’t started weaving, yet, so I didn’t know what a “reed” was.

After some research, I found out there was only one place in Kyoto which was still making them. That was Kitaoka Bamboo Reeds Store.

I still remember the conversation with Mrs. Kitaoka who sounded like she was in her eighties’ on the phone.

She explained that her husband who was the actual bamboo maker already passed away, but her employee can make some. So I ordered two reeds for Scotty. Soon after, I heard that there were no bamboo reed makers in Japan. I was very lucky to be able to get some.

My friend Yuko, who is a kimono weaver, told me she had experienced some advantages for fabric weaving with bamboo reeds.

I hesitated to buy one because of the price range.

At last, I found one which was the right size for my loom from Tokuyama Weaving Tolls in Kyushu.

The bamboo reeds production has stopped in Japan because of the lack of demand.

If you look at the craft field carefully, you will find many discontinuations of toll-production, such as blade making for wood working field or ultra-fine brush making for lacker ware painting…..

Keeping tradition on the world of craft is not simple.

However, some makers started reproducing those tools again!

Here are links of companies that are selling them;

This company sells bamboo reeds imported from China with reasonable prices.

This one is more like a group of people that are doing researches to bring bamboo reed making alive again.

They MIGHT be ready to produce some for sale. I suggest asking them?

About bamboo reed

Here is Scotty’s piece with fine silk woven with bamboo reed from Japan.

Scotty and Harry have a beautiful studio for weaving and woodworking in Fort Bragg, CA.