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An Unmade Resist Dyed Noren

Written on July 30, 2011

The graphic quality of Japanese design–and its impact on Western design and Modern art–is well known.  This unmade, stencil resist dyed noren, a traditional curtain which often is displayed outside a shop or restaurant, has a strong modernist appeal.
You can see how the noren was dyed in one, continuous piece.  It would have been cut and arranged in order for it to display a cohesive design or motif.  This one has been cut, but not entirely, and it hasn’t yet been formed into a noren.I really love the strong geometry and the way that the design has been broken.  Visually this is really interesting. I also really like the contrast of white against inky, deep, indigo blue.  The blue color is so deep it reads black.In trying to mentally construct what the noren will look like when it is stitched and finished, it seems to me that I may be missing a piece or two.  Through time as this unmade noren has changed hands before it arrived to me, it’s quite understandable that a piece or two could have fallen by the wayside.The cotton is hand woven very tightly.  As the noren was probably going to hang outside, the cotton was woven with the intention for it to hold up against the elements.These pieces probably date to the early twentieth century.  In time I will be offering them for sale on my webshop.

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  1. Comment by Jean Betts:

    it is, indeed, a puzzle and wonderful to imagine how it was intended to go together. the depth of indigo is remarkable with very little bleeding after what must be many dips.

    July 31, 2011 @ 5:19 pm