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Archives for February, 2010

Twined Paper Cord

February 26, 2010

Picking up on the previous post, below this one, which showed recycled, braided back pads or seate, I decided to show another kind of twining—this one done with paper recycled from ledger books and twisted into long cords to use as string.

PaperTwine1Shown is a long section of recycled paper twine cradled by an antique Korean grain measure.PaperTwine1aIf you look closely, you can see blips of black and grey in the paper cord: this, of course, is the charcoal-based ink calligraphy on the repuporsed mulberry paper.PaperTwine1bBecause the fibers of paper mulberry (kozo in Japanese) are so long, the paper made from this plant is almost like unwoven cloth: it is extremely pliable, unlike the cellulose paper we use every day.PaperTwine1cI believe this paper cord was made sometime mid-to-late last century.

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Two Braided and Woven Rustic Rag Back Pads

February 23, 2010

Today I am showing two rustic seate, a seate being  a kind of protective back pad used for carrying burden.

Seate1These two seate are a mid-twentieth century types; each is made of shredded cotton cloth that has been braided, twined and woven along with some hemp fibers.  Other seate–ones that pre-date these as well as ones that are contemporary to these shown here–are woven of rush, bast fibers or rice straw.   I posted an earlier entry on similar pieces with these two shown here visible in the photos, but they are not featured.   Have a look here.

Seate1aThe “festive” look of these fringed, brightly colored objects is a strange, visual irony when you consider that these pieces were used in heavy labor, on an ongoing basis.Seate1b

Seate1cIt seems that most of the rags used to weave these seate are commercially produced cottons: by the mid twentieth century when these seate were woven, mass produced cotton fabrics were ubiquitous in Japan.Seate1d


Seate1fNote the presence of some hemp twine in the construction of these seate.Seate1gI find this pair fascinating, compelling and really beautiful.

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