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Posts from the ‘Japanese Textiles’ Category

The cloth of light

On the Japan textile tour we met many weavers of different cloth. This particular business in Kyoto was well established and were famed for their ‘cloth of light’.  This cloth was filled with light which could be clearly seen when a flash light was directed at the cloth. Very beautiful indeed and the photos I have below don’t do them justice at all. Their weavers also wove with metal which was adhered to paper somehow.

Several generations of weavers have established the company products and Koho Tatsumura is well known for his work. His son Amane Tatsumura guided us through the studio and we were able to see many of the manual jacquard looms which are still used.  These are used with specific punchcards to lift sheds for the patterning. You can closely see the initial development of computers with the punchcards being a foundation for binary code.  I am old enough to remember the computer rooms housing punch cards and their operators, so punchcards are always a thing of great fascination for me, especially in weaving.

In the video you can see the weaver’s skill and watch his very delicate hand actions when preparing the metal threads for the weaving. Our touch and hold of objects in our craft is so mesmerizing to watch. Just slight actions make alot of difference in weaving and all other manual skills.

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Okinawa – Japan – still room for you to come along


Photo by Chris Lewis

Meet Taira Toshiko san. A national treasure of Japan in Okinawa.  She is responsible for reviving the bashofu processing and weaving in Okinawa after the war. Now 98 years old she continues to manage the processing and weaving workshop which produces bashofu. This is a rare textile indeed. Bashofu fibre is from a plantain banana like tree and produces cloth which is light and almost transparent.

Okinawa comprises 150 islands in the East China Sea. In is a prefecture of Japan and the largest island, Okinawa, is where we will visit on our Japan Textile Tour in September. Also historically known as the Ryukyu Islands it is well known today for the healthy longevity of its citizens. Read more