|Meet Yuliko Urbain from Belgium
Yuliko Urbain of demi demi
Tell us about yourself, your business… I'm half Japanese, half Belgian, born in Belgium. I'm a
"half & half", "demi demi" in French, a word invented
by my sister and myself when we were kids to define our "mixed"
status. My Japanese grandmother had a lot of kimono. Everyone in my
family tried to keep them after she died. But when you don't wear a kimono, it
will be damaged with stains, mold and moths. This is how the idea of demi demi started: to sublimate the
smallest of fabric pieces, following my inspiration and findings, and to make
of each of my creations a unique piece.
How would you describe your art/craft? I make accessories and home decor with vintage kimono
fabrics. I also make customized jean jackets with obi or kimono fabric. Generally,
I use two types of fabric: never used kimono fabric bolts and second-hand
What kinds of items do you sell? What is the price range? Sleeping masks, lingerie bags, jewel pouches, pencil cases,
hair scrunchies, butterfly hair combs, scarves, decor cushions, and men's
accessories like cuff links and pocket squares. The price range is from 20€ to
How long have you been doing this? I opened my Etsy shop in 2017. I also participate in craft
markets and other Christmas markets. I try to be active on social networks not
only for my shop but I like to write about Japan and, since I am half Japanese,
Have you travelled to Japan? I'm half Japanese, born in Belgium, so my first time traveling
to Japan was when I was three months old! My last trip was in 2019 with my son.
I would have liked to go this Spring but due to covid-19, it was impossible. I
try to travel to Japan every two years.
What is your favorite thing about working with kimono
fabric? I love to give a second life to these textile treasures
sleeping in the drawers in Japan. My pleasure is also to discover new pattern
and dyeing techniques. Japanese textile crafts are so rich and incredible! My
favorite type of fabric is "komon", an incredible dying technique
with stencils. The patterns are very small and so refined.
What is the most challenging thing about working with kimono
fabric? I would say first, to find and buy these fabrics. It's not
so easy to find bolts for a reasonable price.
Also, a challenging thing is to work with a limited quantity
of fabric and a limited width (no more than +- 36 cm). It’s impossible to have
a lot of stock, and almost everything is one-of-a-kind. try also to find ideas that highlight the beauty of the
fabrics, but remain practical. I use mostly silk and it can't be machine
washed, and normally not water-washed...
See more of Yuliko's creations below: