Textile length, 'Origami Pleats', folded, dyed and heat-set polyester, designed by Reiko Sudo, produced by NUNO Corporation, Japan, 1997
'Origami Pleats' is an original 1997 textile design by Reiko Sudo for the NUNO Corporation that relies on a special heat-setting process to fix the origami-like pleats. 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.
'Origami Pleats' was produced by NUNO in 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. This is an example of NUNO's acclaimed Origami Pleats textiles, using a technique developed by Mizue Okada. Using 100% polyester organza, the cloth was hand-pleated by Hioraki Takekura and Hiroko Suwa. The organza was folded repeatedly at sharp, crisp angles as for origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, and then permanently heat-pressed in a special pleat-setting process that is presently patent-pending. The resulting pattern is abstract, yet suggests innumerable shapes - similar to the medieval game of tangrams. Colour may also be applied, which adds depth and visual interest when the textile is opened.