What is Bunka Punch Embroidery?
The word ‘Bunka’ means culture in Japanese. Bunka Punch Embroidery had its origin in Japan in the 1930’s with its intended principles borrowed from the European form of Punch Embroidery (now more commonly known as ‘Russian’ or 'European' embroidery – with many companies putting their own spin on it.) It differs from other forms of embroidery, with the project being worked from the front of the fabric rather than from behind. So the work can be seen at all times and you are not working "blind".
After more than 10 years of trial and tribulation, Bunka finally evolved into a highly-skilled form of art.
During the early days, the kits and catalogues were mainly distributed to girls’ high schools. This work became very popular and about 90% of the designs were made for mirror covers, known in Japan as ‘Kyodai Kake’. The first Bunka kits were printed onto wool fabric, and today, rayon based fabrics are used for the Japanese range.
A special four ply lilian thread or rayon yarn, is used, which can be pulled apart or frayed into various thicknesses. It is threaded through a special punch needle, which resembles the punch needle used for rug-making. Even though the technique looks complicated, it is very easy, and, in comparison to needlepoint, Bunka embroidery can be completed in a fraction of the time.
Mr. Yasuhiro Kiso who was the President of Tokyo Bunka Embroidery Co. Ltd. as well as a distinguished Bunka Master Teacher is credited for originating the fluffy or ‘ketate’ technique, which helps to bring the animals, in particular, to life.
The manufacture of the metallic threads and fabrics that are widely incorporated in Bunka embroidery, today, all help to add to the beauty and dimension of this art.
Today, Bunka embroidery is enjoyed by needle crafters world-wide and the finished work treasured as extremely beautiful pieces of art, which is often referred to as ‘OIL PAINTING IN YARN’.
We sincerely trust that you will receive a lot of enjoyment from the art of Bunka Punch Embroidery, both from working the designs, and from the completed picture.