They say cats have 9 lives. Well Internet cats now have 1 additional life, thanks to embroidery artist Hiroko Kubota. The Nara-based artist began creating clothes as a hobby, mainly for her family. “My son was of a smaller build and store-bought clothes wouldn’t fit him well so I would often make him clothes,” explains Kubota. “It was actually at his request that I began embroidering cats.”
As it turns out, Kubota’s son is somewhat of a cat fanatic and enjoys collecting images of cute cats he finds on the Internet. His favorite ones would become models for embroideries.
After posting her creations online they quickly went viral (like most Internet cats do), prompting Kubota to open an etsy shop 6 months ago. Despite the hefty price tag for a shirt ($250 – $300) she quickly racked up 15 sales and her current inventory is looking a bit slim. According to her website she also used to do custom orders. But now that she seems to be getting busier that service may be in jeopardy.
Update: Kubota has released a book about her hand-embroidered cats called neko shirt.
*All quotes translated from Japanese to English by author