Upcycled Obi Furniture in Kyoto – Yurin

In our last post, we covered upcycled kimono infinity scarves, so today we’re introducing the magical world of upcycling obis. An obi is a kimono belt, and they are usually much, much thicker and firm than kimonos. They are meant to stay firm, and oftentimes have very heavy duty embroidered patterns on them. While kimonos usually

Yurin (由凛) is a very interesting shop in the heart of Kyoto, near Nijo Castle, the biggest and most famous castle of Kyoto (and, yes, there are quite a few castles here). Yurin does quite a few things with each obi they obtain.

Yurin finds antique chairs and reupholsters them with vintage obi fabric and other traditional cloth.

I just love these little chairs that they make out of vintage obis. It doesn’t look like you can order these online, but you can pick them up in their shop in Kyoto.

Different shops and artists in Japan focus on making different things out of kimonos, obis, and haoris, and it’s truly remarkable to see all the different ways they can give new lives to these old articles. I do highly suggest that you purchase something to help support these artisans in their experiments and to help them gain even more expertise in the craft of upcycling.

While it may be difficult to bring a chair or large piece back, there are other options that may delight you.

Art panels made out of vintage obis will fit in your luggage.
Maybe you can even use an obi pillow to help you sleep on the plane?

Many of their smaller items, like these pillows, can be ordered from overseas. So, you can go to their store and order a pillow like the one you see to the right.

Keep an eye out for our future posts to see what other upcycling ideas and projects we find here in Kyoto.

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