Wool Muslin Support Group helps bring a versatile and comfortable textile back to the racks. Jun11

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Wool Muslin Support Group helps bring a versatile and comfortable textile back to the racks.

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For about a year, I have been participating in the quarterly meetings of a grass roots  group that is unofficially working to save some of Japan’s extraordinary textiles, on the verge of becoming extinct.   Started by yuzen-art Saito Hiroshi-san, the group is made up of about 25 people including a magazine publisher, dyers, designers, clothing makers, professors of textile arts and students.   Kyoto’s always innovative yet traditional Sou Sou clothing company is also very involved.

The group is currently working to bring forward awareness of wool muslin, a really versatile textile.  It is a light, soft to the touch and inexpensive cloth that breathes.  It is one of the best fabrics to dye because of the beautiful way it takes and shows color.  It has been made in Japan since the 1800′s,  but has recently been disappearing from the fashion world.  Now as a result of the efforts of this small but dedicated group, production levels are rising for the first time in decades.

The photos posted here show the yuzen-dyed work of Saito Hiroshi-san, utilitizing wool muslin.  Intoduction of his one-of-a-kind, hand painted muslin kimono is perfectly timed for the current upsurge in interest in kimonos, especially among young women.

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