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Object Timeline

1988

  • Work on this object began.

1989

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2013

2014

2015

2020

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Textile, Yuki Tsumugi, 1988

This is a Textile. It was collaborator: Junichi Arai. It is dated 1988 and we acquired it in 1989. Its medium is warp: hand-spun silk (tsumugi) wrapped with reeled silk; weft: hand-spun silk (tsumugi) and its technique is tied-resist dyeing (warp ikat or kasuri) on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles Department department.

This extraordinary kimono length transitions over its forty-five foot span from gray at one end to black at the other, creating a striking diagonal composition. The flawless line of the diagonal and the evenness of the gray color, the result of crossing white warps with black wefts, is a testament to the skill of the dyer and weaver.
The design is created in the kasuri, or warp ikat, technique. White warps were tightly bound in one-inch intervals, with additional warps added in each interval as the binding progressed. Japanese textile designer Junichi Arai, who was inspired by the modernism of a kimono from 1910, said, “I drew the design as if I were cutting a tree with a single stroke of an ax. It may be the longest single kasuri motif ever made.” The abstract pattern allows for many different layouts when cut for a kimono.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled From Gray to Black.

It is credited Gift of Jun Okuzawa, Representative of Yuki Tsumugi Producers Association.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

  • Textile, Futsu Crisscross, 2008
  • 62% silk (raw silk and kibiso), 38% cotton.
  • Courtesy of NUNO Corporation, Tsuruoka Fabric Industry Cooperative, and....
  • 89.2015.12

Its dimensions are

H x W: 1376.7 x 52.7 cm (542 x 20 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Yuki Tsumugi, 1988; Collaborator: Junichi Arai (Japanese, 1932 - 2017); Japan; warp: hand-spun silk (tsumugi) wrapped with reeled silk; weft: hand-spun silk (tsumugi); H x W: 1376.7 x 52.7 cm (542 x 20 3/4 in.); Gift of Jun Okuzawa, Representative of Yuki Tsumugi Producers Association; 1989-99-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18633613/ |title=Textile, Yuki Tsumugi, 1988 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 July 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>