Come and Meet our New Kyoto Bags!


row of Kyoto tote bags

Our Luxury Japanese Tote Bags come in five stunning designs!


We're thrilled to be able to introduce you to our very first small range of beautiful bags by Kyoto brand Ino-kichi!


Ino-kichi is an original brand of quality bags, purses, and other gifts made by a traditional fabric printing studio which is located north of Nijo Castle in Kyoto.


The hallmark of Ino-kichi are their bright and modern Japanese patterns that have been recreated from an archive of original hand-drawn kimono designs.


kimono pattern books

The Ino-kichi archive of kimono patterns!


We have three different styles of bag that we think you'll love too:

  • Our Luxury Japanese Tote Bags which come in five stunning designs!

  • Our Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags which can be worn with or without the accompanying shoulder chain.

  • Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags which are worn across the shoulder with a synthetic leather strap.

Luxury Japanese Tote Bag Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bag Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bag



Fabric Printing for our Luxury Japanese Tote Bags and our Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags

row of Kyoto benri gamaguchi shoulder bags

Our elegant Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags come in five gorgeous designs.

Each bag also has an easy-to-attach chain so that you can wear your bag over your shoulder!


Our Luxury Japanese Tote Bags and our Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags are made from a light canvas fabric that is ink-jet printed. These are not mass-produced items, but items that are made with skill and care.


The kimono patterns are carefully selected from the archive, scanned, and then digitally traced. It takes time to consider the correct placement of the pattern on the bag, especially as the two sides have the pattern placed in a slightly different way.

Our spacious Luxury Japanese Tote Bags are thoughtfully designed, with two single-sided inside pockets which are perfect places to carry your smartphone and your purse!


The artwork designs truly are stunning, with beautifully drawn flowers printed in the the most amazing bright colours!


One of the most skilled areas in the creation process is the application of the colour. The colour print on the fabric depends on the temperature of the day and the humidity. The colour fluctuates according to these conditions, and it takes skilled craftspeople to monitor continually the consistency of the colour.

Our beautiful Benri Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags can be carried as elegant handbags too!



Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags

row of Kyoto pochette gamaguchi shoulder bags

Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags are made from cotton that is carefully screen-printed by hand, in a similar way to how our Zusetsu Snowflower Furoshiki is made.


screenprinting furoshiki in kyoto workshop

Kyoto company Mashu screen-print our

Zusetsu Snowflower furoshiki in the traditional way, by hand.


screen-printing cotton in Kyoto workshop

Kyoto company Ino-kichi screen-print the cotton for

the Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags in a similar way, by hand.


These are bags that are made with outstanding craftsmanship. The screen-printing by hand ensures a gorgeous rich colour is printed onto the fabric.


Each different colour in the pattern requires a different screen. Positioning a second colour takes tremendous skill.


Not only that, but our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags have a reverse side which echoes the colour and design of the front of the bag. In this way you get two different styles in one bag, as you can wear whichever side of the bag outermost to match how you feel!

Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags have a reverse design in the same colours!

You can wear whichever side of the bag outermost to match how you feel!


Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags have a vibrant, rich colour, which is achieved with the special skill of the artisan.


A great amount of care is taken in the accurate measuring of the colour components, to create exactly the same shade of colour each time. Several dyes are weighed and then combined to make one colour dye. Even the slightest imbalance of colour components can affect the final colour, and so many test prints and revisions are made until the colour is agreed upon. You can see that it takes a great deal of skill to always make the same colour.


A colour paste is created from the blended dye, and applied to the lower part of the screen using a squeegee. The screen sits on top of the cotton fabric.


Remember only one colour is used per screen! The dye paste is pushed from the bottom of the screen to the top, and then back down again, pushing the design through onto the stretched cotton.


The density of the colour can change slightly if the craftsperson puts even the slightest extra pressure onto the screen. The craftsperson has to be highly skilled in printing each time using the same pressure.


After making one print, the screen is moved along the fabric to the next position and the print is repeated. It takes immense skill to print the second colours and position them correctly on the design.


The colours adjust according to the temperature of the day – it is warm in summer and cooler in winter in Kyoto. It takes a lot of skill to manage all of these potential variations and complete each design with the same consistency of colour!


You can see that Ino-kichi demonstrate many traditional skills and modern fabric printing practices with their ability to screen-print fabric by hand and with inkjet fabric printers!



Completing the Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bag

Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags have beautifully lined interiors!


When the printing is complete the screen is rinsed with clean water to remove the dye.


The fabric is now ready to be steamed and soaped and washed with water. The steam develops the colour. The soaping washes the fabric at a high temperature, and then it is finally rinsed using cold water.


The finished fabric is cut out around moulds for the bag's distinctive shape and then sewn by hand.


Each bag has a beautiful quality interior lining with a handy single-sided pocket. The gamaguchi fastening has a cute 'candy ball' that adds to the fun! The thin leather strap completes the look!


These really are the most beautiful little shoulder bags! They are perfect for carrying your purse, keys, and your smartphone when you are popping out to the shops!

Our Pochette Gamaguchi Shoulder Bags are special art pieces,

made from cotton that is skilfully screen-printed by hand!


Each bag is carefully inspected thoroughly before it is delivered to the customer. A lot of care is taken from start to finish of our unique and beautiful Ino-kichi bags!


From the fabric printing to the final bag production everything is done in Kyoto!

These really are the most beautiful little shoulder bags, made with care in Kyoto!



We hope you have enjoyed reading about our beautiful new range of Ino-kichi bags from the elegant city of Kyoto! You can find them in-store here!







Here at Zusetsu, we are deeply interested in the artisan skills that go into making many of the beautiful Japanese gifts that we offer in-store. You can read more about how our Zusetsu Snowflower Furoshiki and our Hamamonyo Tenugui are made by clicking on these links!


Thank you for reading, and see you again soon!


Cathy and Yukki

xxxx


row of Kyoto pochette gamaguchi shoulder bags

Thank you to Ino-kichi for the use of their workshop and archive photos!