Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.


  • We acquired this object.





  • You found it!

Textile, Triaxial Fabric

This is a Textile. It is dated designed 1991, manufactured 2002 and we acquired it in 2003. Its medium is carbon fiber and its technique is triaxially woven. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This triaxial fabric, produced and manufactured by Sakase Adtech Co., Ltd. in 2002, is an example of a technical textile: a textile that has been specially engineered for high performance use in a specific area of industry.

The fabric is made of triaxially-woven carbon fiber. It consists of two shiny, flat, black interlacing warps and one weft woven from three different axes. The strength of the triaxial weave is combined with the extraordinary strength and nearly weightless quality of the carbon fiber, which enables endless possibilities for use in many areas of industry. The structure of the textile allows it to be shaped and molded easily because it has three different axes. This all but eliminates the problems of stress in plain weave textiles because any bending or shaping of the textile is counter to the direction of the weave.
Some of the most common uses for triaxially-woven carbon fiber have been for knee braces, skis, and fishing rods. Of course, other yarns can be used with the triaxial weave; perhaps the most commercially-successful use of the triaxial weave has been in running shoes. With the need for maximum flexibility and durability in sports, this unique structure has proven invaluable.
The technology for triaxial weaving was actually invented centuries ago during the Nara period (710–794 AD). It was rediscovered by NASA in the 1960s for use in aeronautics. As an example of transfer technology or “adaptive reuse,” the technology (including the looms) was bought by Sakase and retooled for a wider consumer market. It is an exemplary textile that demonstrates how old technology is rediscovered and reinterpreted according to the needs of the present day.
This work, along with the other Japanese textiles in the museum’s collection, begins to establish a strong core collection of contemporary textiles, an area specifically targeted for acquisition. These examples reflect some of the best textiles made during the late 20th and early 21st century, the study of which will add to an underst

This object was donated by The Museum of Modern Art. It is credited Gift of The Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the designer.

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

  • Hack, Roomba Cam
  • robotic hardware, digital movie file, format: uncompressed .mov file....
  • Courtesy of the designers.
  • 15.2014.1

Its dimensions are

H x W: 497.2 x 155.6 cm (16 ft. 3 3/4 in. x 5 ft. 1 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Triaxial Fabric; Japan; carbon fiber; H x W: 497.2 x 155.6 cm (16 ft. 3 3/4 in. x 5 ft. 1 1/4 in.); Gift of The Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the designer; 2002-28-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18696059/ |title=Textile, Triaxial Fabric |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>