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Melting into the fabric


Hazy spring colors and textures slowly mix together on fabric.

This time, the visit was to an atelier in Kyoto, known for its dyeing process from generation to generation. Out of various techniques, the gradation dye was selected to express the spring scenery of flowers embraced by drops of fog taking in the sunrise, creating a magical sparkle.

Gradation dyeing requires color paste, and this special dyeing technique can only be found domestically in this atelier. The spring colors that Maiko Kurogouchi saw are expressed by kneading together with ten different pastes to create the gradation, using combinations of pale colors such as light pink, wisteria, and green, a mixture not normally used. The final process of kneading the pastes remains a secret. In saying that, there is no textbook for how many times the pastes are to be kneaded or strength applied, as it can only be done from the craftsman’s experience and senses, indeed a technique that cannot be acquired easily.

After the detailed adjustments to the kneaded colorful paste, it is then placed on the plate-maker, dyeing its colors fit to the fabric.

The dyeing technique originally used for kimono, for this collection is applied onto glossy jacquard fabric made of silk and transparent nylon film thread. By leaving the film in fringe, it sparkles like the grass in morning fog, naturally adjusting its colors. After numerous tries, what was created is a changing and beautiful gradation one could not imagine. This unique film jacquard dye was a first for the craftsmen as well.

The ten colors that preside over spring, spread over each other and blend, creating an ephemeral gradation, unimaginable of ten colors. From the work of the craftsmen’s detail combined with the hazy memory of its beauty, the fabric is sure to continue its story of te beautiful spring morning.

Photography: Yuichiro Noda / Words & Edit: kontakt / Translation: Shimon Miyamoto