After spending several years in Kyoto, Kyomai's founders were inspired to create a range of clutches crafted from traditional Japanese belts, called obis. “Obi” ornamental belts are made of silk and gold, silver or platinum thread, and are woven on Jacquard looms. They wanted to give a second life to these exceptional materials. They carefully select vintage obis directly in Kyoto before bringing them back to Reims in France where our clutches are handcrafted. The clutches made from a single obi are all different, and each product unique. Kyomai products combine Japanese sophistication and French elegance.
In 2018, France celebrates the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan, and 150th anniversary of the Meiji Era. In 1968, after 250 years of isolation, Japan sent delegates to Western countries. Nishijin weavers, from the district of Kyoto specialized in the production of Obi sash and Kimono, discovered in Lyon, France the Jacquard loom invented in 1801. This loom uses punch cards that designate which strands of the warp must lift in order to slide the shuttle through to create the design. This innovation has contributed to the development of the silk industry at the Meiji Era. Jacquard looms are still used to weave Obi sashes in Nishijin, with extremely complex and varied design. By creating in Reims clutch bags from obi sashes from Kyoto, Kyomaï is taking part to this tradition of exchanges between France and Japan.