From Streetwear to Reworked Fashion

What is ODDBALL KIND?

ODDBALL KIND was a result of a year-long attempt at creating a streetwear brand. And no, the streetwear brand never took off. Nonetheless, my foray into streetwear did make me question myself about my genuine interests. After weeks of digging deep within, I was reminded of my time in Japan and the sheer dedication that the Japanese put into their craft. I knew I was up to something.

 

Drafting T-shirt Designs

 

Hand-made ODDBALL Stamp

The Discovery of Sashiko

I began sieving through Japanese media and eventually landed on 刺し子 (sashiko), a technique of weaving multiple tiny stabs into a fabric to strengthen or repair it. At that moment, I knew I found something special and yet something was amiss. I did not want to only do traditional, ‘pure’ sashiko, or traditional ‘boro’, which is garment that has been repaired through multiple rounds of sashiko patching.

 

 

Single (Red) Thread Chiku Chiku Sashiko Stitching

 

Double (White) Thread Chiku Chiku Sashiko Stitching and
Mending of Hole

Experimentation on Noragi

At that time, I was doing patchwork on my friend’s noragi. After removing the seams and taking it apart, it struck me that so much fabric went into making just a single garment. I had a rude awakening – I had wanted to create a streetwear brand and utilise a large amount of resources to churn out garments which people might not even wear. That epiphany snapped me out of the streetwear dream and made me think more about a less wasteful approach towards creating apparel.

 

Back View of Completed Friend’s Noragi

 

Completed Noragi on Friend

Little did I know that the answer was already staring at me: sashiko. In traditional times before mass production, garments were expensive as they required considerable effort to make. The less-fortunate had to come up with solutions to mend the holes in their garments that came as a result of working in the fields, come rain, snow or shine. They utilised scrap fabrics and patched them over or under the existing holes and strengthened them using the various sashiko techniques.

A New Dawn

It dawned on me that I could make garments from scrap fabric or pre-loved clothes. These fabrics would serve as the practical solutions, while providing a canvas for me to explore and assimilate traditional sewing techniques.

Drawing inspiration from folk wear and traditions, ODDBALL KIND is a documentary of the tenderness and grace that comes with craftsmanship. It seeks to bring life back to the worn out, and reinvigorates fabrics into things that belong somewhere.

– The Kind Oddball, 優しく個性的な人

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