Nishiki

The  Beauty of Nishiki -The Woven Art of Koho Tatsumura.-

Woven on takabata looms since they were introduced from China over 1200 years ago, silk mon orimoro (design figures incorporated into the weave, itself), is exquisite, luminous, luxurious and multi-colored. The high precision and skill level required to weave this fabric and the resulting extraordinary beauty and quality demands that it be distinguished from ordinary brocade by giving it a distinctive name, Nishiki. In the Japanese language, the idiographic character used for Nishiki is a combination of the symbol for woven cloth combined with the symbol for gold, implying that the value of Nishiki is equal to that of money.
Since ancient times, the word Nishiki has been used as an adjective to indicate great beauty as in the term, “Nishiki Autumn,” to describe a colorful landscape in fall. Nishiki, as a work of art, represents the pinnacle of silk weaving, rarely found in the world. Historically, it has been highly coveted by the Japanese people, and remains a great source of national pride as an example of Japanese beauty. Nishiki is created through the combined skills of numerous craftsmen, involving a broad range of technical processes that require time and patience. The work of Koho Tatsumura can be compared to that of a conductor who gathers together craftsmen like musicians in an orchestra, to complete each musical piece. As the silk threads, each shining like gold, combine with one another, they come to harmonize as a brilliantly colored, dazzling, sublimely created Nishiki creation.
The superb visual-textural feeling of silk’s infinite variations and hues, enhanced through processes cultivated over a millennium, is translated into works of art that will always draw our affection, regardless of the era. At the studio of Koho Tatsumura、we continue to produce woven fabrics as a Japanese art, preserving the tradition and skill, seeking to ever expand the beauty of Nishiki.

Rather than thinking of weaving as flat and two dimentional, it can be created as a three dimentional fabric.This is one of the main defining characteristics of Nishiki, that it is woven in layers, creating a 3-dimentional effect. Moreover, the individual translucent silk threads are like glass rods with a slightly rounded, triangular prism shape. This is metaphorically referred to as a “silk prism.Because of this structure, silk thread both allows light to penetrate as well as reflects light and thus is able to sparkle with a diamond-like complexity. By bringing the properties of silk thread to life in a woven piece of work, and, moreover moving it forward into the world of three dimensions, Nishiki becomes a “fabric of Light” that manifests infinite changes in the light it encounters.

The Weaving of Light
Tactile Quality Art

In the world of weaving, one of the most important aspects is the visual-textural feeling of the cloth. Though this visual-textual feeling will differ with various kinds of cloth, one can also experience subtle changes of visual-textural feeling in the same kinds of cloth that have been woven by different weavers. The sound of the loom worked by a highly talented weaver is light and rhythmical. Listening to it brings a feeling of comfort. It has an indescribable visual-textural feeling. The true essential value of weaving arts can be defined by this feel of the material.

We strive to keep in mind the grace and dignity of each piece of Nishiki woven fabric that we produce. Though it may be easy to express verbally, the actual creation of a woven work requires a high standard of artistic perfection. Regarding form, we must maintain a strict production tolerance that neither allows a line to deviate by even 1mm, nor neglects the accuracy of the location of even one dot. Furthermore, coloration must be played like a beautiful “symphony of colors.” We believe that the “Beauty of Nishiki” is born from such a posture.

Beauty and Grace
NISHIKI

Because there is no appropriate word for Nishiki in either English or French, we feel that the Japanese word “Nishiki” can be used in foreign languages. Japanese-English dictionaries define “Nishiki” as “brocade,” but the two are really conceptually different things. In order to expose the boundlessness and charm of what can be called “the most beautiful woven fabric in the world” to a greater number of people worldwide, we continue our efforts to encourage the acceptance of the term “Nishiki” until it is universally recognized and used.

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