1. Maiko Hair Decoration and Japanese Traditional Handicraft

Maiko Hair Decoration and Japanese Traditional Handicraft

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Ai Kazeki

Originally from Tokyo, but lived in France and Switzerland before. Traveled over many European countries. Now a university student in Kyoto. Completely addicted to Kyoto.



Maiko Hair Decoration and Japanese Traditional Handicraft


Have you ever payed close attention to the beautiful hair decorations of Maiko?


If you have, you’ll see how elaborated and sophisticated they are.


In this article, I would like to introduce the techniques hidden behind the gorgeous decorations.





■Maiko Hair Decoration





As you can see in these photos, the main part of Maiko hair decoration is the flower and plants made from Japanese crepe material.


The material is called “Chirimen” (crepe cloth) in Japanese, and the technique to make these flowers is called “Tsumamizaiku”.





■”Tsumamizaiku”, a Japanese Traditional Handicraft

Tsumamizaiku is a handicraft in Japan, and it is the craft of making small flowers out of crepe cloth.


It starts from making each petal by hand, so it takes a lot of time to finish one.


That makes the product very expensive and special.


Recently, some people who like handicrafts enjoy making Tsumamizaiku themselves.


There are even some books that introduce how to make them.


Actually, I am one of those people who like handicrafts and once tried to make one so I would like to teach you some of the techniques I know.


Please be aware that the fact I’m not a professional, but it will be nice if you find it interesting.





■How to make a Tsumamizaiku decoration


What you need to prepare:


A small piece of crepe material (any color), starch glue, a pair of cloth cutting scissors, tweezers, a wooden board, cardboard (not in the photo)


(Additional) white glue, no hole beads, hairpin



You can get all items at a 100 yen store!







1. Cut the cloth into six equal square pieces (2.5cm), and one small piece of cardboard into a small circle (diameter = 1.5cm) It might be useful to cut out a cardboard to measure the same size.








2.  Put some starch glue on the wooden board, and spread it with a piece of cardboard so it is about 2-3 mm thick.




3. Take the crepe piece and fold it so the corners overlap and hold it with the tweezers





3. Fold it again using the tweezers.





4. Take the tweezers out and hold it like the photo shown below. Then open the edges of the cloth using the sides of the tweezers.









5. Then hold the edges with the tweezers and place it in the glue. Make 4 more petals in the same way.




6.  To make the base, put some glue on the circular cardboard and stick it to the sixth cloth. Then cut the edges round, make some cuts around, and fold it in using glue.





7. Leave them to dry for 1-2 hours.



8. Take the petals off the board and place it on the base with some glue. Use your fingers to hold the petals from the side to let them stick.







8. Put some white glue in the middle of the flower and place some beads as you like.




9. Stick a hairpin to it, let it dry and it’s finished!




To tell you the truth it is not as easy as you may imagine but I can’t stop making them because they look so cute! I myself needed a lot of practice until I was able to make one that was satisfying, so don’t worry if it doesn’t work well the first time.





■Workshop to Try Tsumamizaiku


Even though I introduced how to make Tsumamizaiku, you may feel worried to make one on your own.


Then here is a workshop where you can enjoy making flower decorations with some help!


Oharibako – Tsumamizaiku store




I hope you found some interest in Maiko hair decorations and Japanese handicrafts.

It would be great if you decide to have a go at making one!