A Common Design, the Unique Khadi

The Eye Pillow from Itoshitsu






I could feel the light seeping through even with my eyes closed; I struggled to open my eyes only to find on the clock that it was only 5 in the morning. This could probably be the worst moment of the day to have my exhausted body reluctantly woken up by the sunshine. My mind was forcefully kicked out from my dream and ended up in a chaotic state. Hoping to get back to sleep, I fumbled for the eye pillow that I carelessly placed in the bedside cabinet. I put it over my eyes, darkness immediately returned with a calming scent of lavender that accompanied me back to my dream.

Itoshitsu is a textile brand founded by Sachiko Isobe that specializes in cushions, teapot covers, coasters, bags, eye pillows. Although all their products are consistently in white color, every item of Itoshitsu’s product is unique, partly because of Isobe’s knitting technique and partly because of their use of Khadi, the hand-woven fabric from India.

Back in the days when India was still under the British colonial rule, the British largely promoted industrial and mass production of cotton in India. Khadi, on the contrary, was the fabric Gandhi advocated to use. The hand-woven technique cannot create evenly woven fabric like how the machine does, however, it can give rise to a unique personality to each piece of cloth. The individuality as seen from the Khadi fabric can well be a representation of the determination of India in fighting for independence.

Isobe was fascinated by the story behind Khadi, as well as the fabric itself that keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. Such fascination has prompted her to visit India multiple times. Having a strong faith in the charisma of Khadi, Isobe tends to design her works in a minimalistic approach; the only creative element is perhaps the unparalleled pattern created by stitching together the seemingly identical but subtly different white Khadi fabric.

“Fabric is the material that is closest to our body in everyday life. A nice texture has the power to soothe our soul,” said Isobe in an interview. I could vividly understand her statement when the skin of my eyelids was touching the Khadi fabric that she chose.