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  Kimonos in Japan these days are luxury items, usually worn for special occasions such as children’s celebrations for the ages of 3, 5 and 7 years, coming-of-age ceremonies and weddings. It is also popular to wear summer kimonos (Yukata) for summer festivals including firework festivals.
  My name is Yoko. I was born and grew up in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. My favourite thing to do as a child was designing clothes and making them with Furoshiki, Japanese gift wrapping cloth, and old newspapers. I first learned how to use sewing machines at primary school and enjoyed every sewing task given during the Home Economic classes.
  When I visited Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, on a school trip, I was fascinated seeing Kimonos with different textures and patterns. I absolutely loved those Kimonos. However, it was not something practical to wear daily. It was also too fine and expensive for wearing them daily.


  When I moved to the UK, the first thing I wanted for myself was a sewing machine. Having enjoyed working on small projects and experienced making, mending and altering different clothes and home furnishings, I made dresses for occasions and a wedding dress I dreamed to design and make.
  Then, I had a chance to visit Japan and found fat quarters of Kimono fabrics at a craft shop in Tokyo. They had cute animals, colourful flowers, cranes and fans, all traditional motifs. All the nostalgic feelings came back - the Furoshiki clothes and all the precious memories and joyful occasions of wearing Kimonos!
  I wondered what I could make with those beautiful and authentic fabrics… something we can all cherish, something we can use in daily life, something that lasts for a long time.
  It didn’t take long for me to come up with ideas and designs (and still loads of ideas come and never know where to stop!)
  After I spent hours and hours forming my ideas and designs into creations using the special fabrics from Japan and doing a lot of experiments, YOKOABER launched to deliver the beauty of Japan to the UK.
  One of the amazing features of those Japanese fabrics is the colours. A lot of them have a mixture of different colours but still goes well together. I enjoy matching all those colours with other materials, zips, threads and all.  
  My aim is to share and spread all the great things about those Japanese fabrics by creating something unique and special that can be cherished and used daily for a long time.