Get Down with the Tokyo Spinning Party

Feel the need for a summertime excursion? Mark your calendars, update your passports, and hop the other pond. The Tokyo Spinning Party goes down September 9 and 10, 2017, and you’re invited. Founded in 2001, the annual event is the largest fiber festival in Japan. Fiber enthusiasts, small-scale farmers, yarn producers, and teachers all gather to celebrate their craft.

Fiber festivals offer many opportunities for a challenge, whether learning a new skill or trying to stick to a budget in the marketplace. The Tokyo Spinning Party doesn’t disappoint, with an extensive line-up of exhibitors, workshops, demonstrations, and vendors. All fiber arts are well represented, from spinning and weaving to felting and dyeing. Cassandra Harada, an American living in Tokyo and one of the event organizers and exhibitors, says, “Sheep-shearing demonstrations attract the most people, because it’s not something you can see often in Japan, especially in Tokyo.” Another big draw is the sheep farmers from Hokkaido. Cassandra explains, “There isn’t much wool produced in Japan, and everyone wants to own some!”

Tokyo Spinning Party

Feed your fiber stash and bring home a colorful batt as a souvenir.

The Spinning Party’s theme for 2017 is “Japan Blue, Indigo Dye.” The theme was chosen in honor of the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo. Cassandra explains, “The official emblems celebrate the tradition of indigo dyeing, so we thought we should, too.” (To learn more about indigo dyeing, check out Dyeing with Indigo.)

Last year, visitors attended from as far away as Sweden and the United States. The Tokyo Spinning Party hopes to foster an international atmosphere, welcoming guests from around the world. It should be quite the shindig!

—Elizabeth

The 2017 Tokyo Spinning Party will be held September 9–10, 2017 (Saturday and Sunday). To learn more, visit www.tokyo-spinningparty.org.

Featured Image: Sticking to budget could prove difficult in the marketplace; better bring an extra suitcase. Photos by Yuka Aoshima.


Throw your own spinning party with a little help from Spin Off!

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