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Object Timeline

1988

  • Work on this object began.

1989

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2013

2014

2015

2017

  • You found it!

Textile, Yuki Tsumugi, 1988

This is a textile. It was collaborator: Junichi Arai and dyed by Shigehiro Kobayashi and woven by Shigehiro Kobayashi and produced by Takeji Okuzawa. It is dated 1988 and we acquired it in 1989. Its medium is warp: hand-spun silk wrapped with reeled silk; weft: hand-spun silk and its technique is tied-resist dyeing (warp ikat or kasuri) on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles 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 Day series in a post titled From Gray to Black.

This object was donated by Jun Okuzawa and catalogued by Barbara Duggan. It is credited Gift of Jun Okuzawa, Representative of Yuki Tsumugi Producers Association.

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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; Dyed by Shigehiro Kobayashi (Japanese, b. 1952); Japan; warp: hand-spun silk wrapped with reeled silk; weft: hand-spun silk; 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=28 March 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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