Hiroko Kubota is the extremely talented embroiderer who made my Hili shirt, and dozens of other cat shirts for other folks. It started when her son wanted a cat sewn on his shirt, and Hiroko made one so lifelike and so cute that everybody wanted one. Now she’s swamped with orders (she makes the shirts as well as the cat embroidery) that you’ll have to wait years to get one. You can see the variety of her work—she does more than just cats—on her Flickr page.
She’s just been profiled on a Japanese television show, and I’ve put the clip below (the director is Koh Sato). I’m not sure what’s going on at the beginning, and it’s all in Japanese, but you can pretty much figure out what’s going on—and there’s some English at the end. Hiroko likes the video because, she says, very few videos actually show the embroidery process itself, which she demonstrates by sewing a cat’s ear. And I love the ending, when a woman in Dallas finally gets her cat shirt. (I also like the way Hiroko has pinned up the shirts so the television interviewer can’t see the cats at first, which then are revealed suddenly.)
Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) makes two brief appearances with Hili shirt. Hiroko, by the way, sent me a packet of Japanese “cat’s snacks” to take to Hili when I visit in a few weeks. I think that might be the first time in history when someone in Japan has sent treats to a cat in Poland!
Here’s the video (any translations welcome!):