Textile length, 'Tanabata', folded, dyed and heat-set polyester, designed by Reiko Sudo and Tomoko Miura, NUNO Corporation, Japan, 2004
'Tanabata' is a new design from the NUNO Corporation's acclaimed Origami Pleats line, and was designed by Reiko Sudo and Tomoko Miura in 2004. NUNO means 'cloth' in Japanese. Since its inception the NUNO Corporation has been pioneering in the design, development and processing of its textile ranges, and utilises artisans skilled in weaving and dyeing to meld the traditional and innovative to create quality fabrics which are distinctive with an enduring appeal. The Corporation is an integrated establishment with design, some manufacturing and retail sales carried out in-house
NUNO fabrics are innovative and distinctive rather than purpose specific as they can be used for fashion, interior design or any other application. The fabrics are not mass-produced commercial products, being closer to traditional hand-looming in their quality, but are industrially milled which keeps prices affordable. NUNO also designs a limited rangeof clothing which is simple in design and cut.
Jun'icho Arai and Reiko Sudo together established the NUNO textile studio and retail shop in 1984. At that time, the use of computers in fabric design was considered avant-garde, but is now commonplace in all design studios. When Arai left NUNO in 1987, Sudo became director and chief designer and raised NUNO's profile to international prominence.
Reiko Sudo trained as a textile and industrial designer and has a passion for designing fabrics that incorporate traditional Japanese crafts with new engineering techniques and unlikely combinations of materials. She gains inspiration for new techniques from articles on industry development in the Nikkei Shimburn, Japan's economic daily. Materials used by NUNO include silk, cotton, polyester, nylon tape and hand-made paper; technologies used by NUNO and derived from Japanese craft culture include salt shrinking, mud-dyeing, rust-dyeing, caustic burning, fatiguing by hand., chemicals or machine, and graffiti.
'Tanabata' is a new design in NUNO's Origami Pleats line and was designed by Reiko Sudo and Tomoko Miura. Polyester organza is carefully origami-folded into a long, flat reverse pleated shape, with all folds accordion or reverse folded. The folded piece must be ironed at a high setting, to keep the folds flat. The heating of the fabric sets the pleats which are also heat-cut to create openness and movement. 'Tanabata' (Fabric No. T9-314-3) was produced in 2004 and is a new design in NUNO's 'Origami Pleats' line which was introduced by 1997. When worn as a scarf and the wearer moves, the shapes of the folds shift and change, giving movement and depth to this sculptural work.
Two different colours of dye-transfer paper are chosen. Paper of one colour is placed on the bottom, facing up; folded fabric is placed in the middle, and paper of the other colour is placed on top, facing down. Heat is applied to all the layers of folded fabric in a vacuum transfer machine, which helps to create the optimal conditions for the sublimation of dye. There are some intriguingly beautiful colour combinations produced; the colour gradation on each layer of folded fabric adds depth and visual interest when the textile is opened.