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Meet Yuliko Urbain from Belgium
demi demi

Yuliko Urbain of demi demi



FB: @demidemishop


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 kimono.

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 230€.

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, my life!

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: