lore + needles
Handmade Leather Works Integrating Mingei Aesthetics

Surrounded by beautiful nature in Chizu Town, lore + needles is an independent leather workshop by Emi Hamaguchi, who meticulously handcrafts each item. The name "lore + needles" signifies the workshop’s commitment to preserving traditional knowledge (lore) and the precise hand-stitching process (needles) that is central to the studio. Inspired by the mingei movement (Japan’s folk craft movement that started in 1920s), founded by Soetsu Yanagi, and applying its aesthetics to leather craft, which is usually not associated with mingei, lore + needles celebrates the beauty found in everyday objects, emphasizing practicality, simplicity, and inherent charm.

Three CorePrinciples of lore + needles

lore + needles embraces three core principles: mingei philosophy, respect for life, and environmental friendliness. They adhere to the mingei principles of practicality, anonymity, affordability, locality, paraindividuality, and tradition, ensuring every piece is hand-stitched with meticulous care for durability and functionality. Respecting life, they use leather sourced from meat production and wildlife management, repurposing scraps to minimize waste. Their commitment to environmental friendliness is evident as they use only leather tanned with natural tannins extracted from plants, making their products environmentally friendly.

Embracing Tradition and Sustainability

Their handcrafted items are minimalist and unembellished, designed to become more beautiful with age and use. Utilizing traditional methods like kakishibu dyeing (persimmon tannin dye), which imparts a rich, natural color and enhances durability, insect resistance, and water resistance, they honor the wisdom of the ancestors. lore + needles believe that craftsmanship and materials shape the initial product, while the user and time add personality and uniqueness. With only the necessary stitches in essential places, their creations exemplify the timeless beauty of Japanese craftsmanship, inviting you to experience the enduring charm of the mingei philosophy.