Reviving the art of Nishiki

Nishiki is Japanese brocade fabric.  According to my sources and notes:  The patterns for this brocade are woven from various colored weft floats traveling over a limited distance.  In the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), in China, they produced a warp-faced nishiki where colored warps skipping over a number of adjacent wefts formed a pattern. During the Tang dynasty (618- 907) weft faced nishiki was introduced from Western Asia, and is what is woven in Japan.  The nishiki of meibutsu gire (famous fabrics), many are used in tea, are mainly from the Ming dynasty (1368-1622) and later, and they all have a thick woven texture, as opposed to the soft, satiny feel of donsu fabric. Below are some examples of meibutsu gire nishiki:

 Bishamon Nishiki

Arisugawa Nishiki

Kamon Nishiki

The intricate weaving and technology used to manufacture this luxurious cloth is being revived in Kyoto by one of Japan’s most important contemporary interpreters of Nishiki, textile designer, Koho Tatsumura. In addition to applying this high level of traditional technology to his own original design work, he is actively involved in carrying forward the work of his late grandfather, Koha Tatsumura, founder of the Tatsumura Company, renowned kimono weavers since the late 1800s.

There is more information and fabulous photos of his contemporary work: Koho Tatsumura: Nishiki Weaving for the 21st Century



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