Style Snapshot: Kanzashi Fabric Flowers Style Snapshot: Kanzashi Fabric Flowers
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

The Japanese aesthetic of small, meticulous beauty is exemplified by kanzashi.

The traditional art of kanzashi creates flowers, called tsumami kanzashi, from small squares of fabric--usually silk--folded using origami techniques. Although they were originally intended for hair adornment, modern uses of kanzashi flowers aren't limited to traditional bridal robes or a geisha's kimono. Contemporary designers are letting these graceful miniatures blossom in a garden of alternative uses and letting them grow from a variety of materials, too.
Kanzashi Flowers

Kanzashi Templates Easy-to-use kanzashi templates let jewelry and accessory designers quickly cultivate kanzashi flowers in a range of shapes, sizes and materials. The three template styles include: flower with small round petals, flower with small pointed petals and flower with small gathered petals. Each template includes written instructions in multiple languages with illustrations. Their compact size makes them ideal for jewelry components, hair adornments and home décor and means they can be used singly or in clusters.

What about special occasions? Kanzashi flowers, like other accents, are a great way to introduce the wedding colors into a bride's all-white ensemble, and carry it through to the rest of the wedding party in smaller floral accents on the bridesmaids and boutonnières on the groom and groomsmen. They also easily carry over to announcements, invitations, bouquets, favors, décor--even cake decoration!

Get the Look
The most traditional way to wear kanzashi is to attach them to hair sticks. However, there are a number of contemporary ways to use kanzashi flowers in your jewelry and accessory designs:
  • Add to headbands, haircombs and barrettes for a "fascinator" look or 1920s-inspired style
  • Attach multiple flowers to wire in a wreath for a blooming hair accessory
  • Form fine silver flowers by folding PMC sheet™ in the kanzashi templates, then fire and polish. Embellish with gemstones, pearls, Swarovski crystal and more.
  • Use clip-on earring findings with perforated disks to create shoeclips or shoe roses
  • Use clip-on earring findings or brooch backs to add to purses
  • Attach to button covers to freshen up the look of an old winter coat
  • Mix fabric, metal clay and paper kanzashi flowers for full-spectrum mixed media style
  • Adapt kanzashi bridal ideas for prom jewelry and accessories
  • Use a selection of pin backs or clip-on earring findings with perforated disks to create brooches
  • Add to napkin rings and candle beading frames for seasonal table décor. (Be sure to use a battery-powered tealight with the candle beading frames to reduce the risk of fire.)
If designers and jewelry makers use kanzashi flowers with a little ingenuity, they'll see their design options bloom.

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