Archive for August, 2008

2008 Weave of the week #5: Abstract jacquard
August 30, 2008

Vintage wool jacquard

Vintage wool jacquard

To me this swatch of vintage French woolen jacquard looks more like an abstract painting than like a textile. It was woven with fine wool set tightly (approximately 50 epi x 50 ppi), so that the tightness of the structure accentuates the colors and sharp angles between the fabric’s warp- and weft-faced satin weaves.

The piece reminded me of Abstract Cubist painter Lionel Feininger’s work, so I did a quick online search, and on NYC’s Museum of Modern Art’s website I found “Ruin by the Sea,” an oil painting with abstract geometric shapes and similar colors, that Feininger did in 1930 (to view the Feininger piece, go to www.moma.org/collection/provenance/items/593.66.html).

2008 Weave of the week #4: Sakiori mat
August 24, 2008

Sakiori mat

Sakiori mat

This small, tightly woven mat from Japan has rag wefts made from recycled cotton textiles, a technique called Sakiori (“tear and weave”). I have seen jackets, vests, and obis woven with this technique, sometimes using recycled kimono silk, but I especially love the irregularity and unselfconscious imperfection (I think the Japanese call it shibui) of this piece.

I bought the mat from a shop that specializes in Japanese folk art. The shop’s co-owner was so inspired by Japanese textiles that she bought a loom and set herself to learn some of the classic Japanese folk techniques. There are some Sakiori pieces in the shop (Old Japan, in Lenox, Massachusetts), and there are other interesting Japanese textiles on the website, http://www.oldjapaninc.com.

Exhibition alerts for NY’s flightiest: featherwork, superheroes, balloon sculpture
August 22, 2008

Koons' balloon dog sculpture

Koons's balloon dog sculpture

“Radiance from the Rain Forest: Featherwork in Ancient Peru” is a special exhibition (open only through Sept. 1) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I haven’t seen the exhibition yet, but the other exhibitions of Andean featherwork that I have seen, and the spectacular images on the Met’s website, suggest that it will be wonderful. According to the Met’s website, “This is the first exhibition at an American art museum to focus exclusively on the subject.” http://www.metmuseum.org/special/radiance_rainforest/featherwork_more.asp. Here is an example of Peruvian featherwork.

Shirt detail

Shirt detail

Another apparel exhibition that will be of interest to some of us (perhaps not the same demographic), “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy,” will also be at The Met until Sept. 1. Both Giorgio Armani and Cond√© Nast (?!) were involved in organizing the exhibition, which includes movie costumes, haute couture, and high-performance sportwear. http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={5B98D8A0-AB67-4137-8F5E-873FDB82EE73}

If you have any energy left, or are insanely obsessive about rounding off your metaphors, you might want to visit Jeff Koons’s (metal) balloon sculpture in the roof garden. www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={5F785871-78A9-41C4-AEDA-773CA0F10F03}