I have been thinking and writing about recycling textiles recently, and this week’s featured weave — the notecard shown above — takes a gentle low-tech approach to recycling fabric that appeals to me. Masako, the New York artist who designed it, handwove strips of recycled Japanese kimono silk and mounted them on rice paper.
Masako was trained in Japanese dancing at an early age — her mother teaches it — and she grew up wearing kimono and developed a deep appreciation for the fabrics. Later, her work as a graphic arts designer in Tokyo refined her sensitivity to color, texture, and pattern and the skill with which she handles the delicate silk fabrics.
I have a few of Masako’s one-of-a-kind cards in my collection and love to look at all of the fascinating individual fabrics, but I chose the card above to highlight because it has strips of remarkably tiny shibori dots,
and ikat patterns that I’ve never seen before,
interwoven with quieter strips of jacquard-woven and printed fabrics.
At the same time that I bought the notecards, I also bought a bundle of vintage kimono fabric swatches (shown below ) — similar to the ones that Masako uses.
I had no specific project in mind for these fabrics, but then, when I see an unusual textile, like this one from the bundle,
I’m much more likely to frame it or blog about it, or just save it and enjoy it, than I am to cut it up.
Masako’s notecards and my fabric bundle came from Old Japan, in Lenox, MA, a shop owned by my friends Amie and Roku. They love and appreciate Japanese textiles, so their shop also stocks bundles of stenciled cotton and indigo ikat cotton kimono fabrics.
Masako’s notecards are not on their website yet, but to find out more about Old Japan’s textile offerings, and to see images, go here.