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Beautiful, Subtle, Refined Echigo Jofu

Written on March 5, 2012

Echigo jofu, the fine-as-silk ramie cloth from Niigata, Japan in Tohoku, is a masterwork of subtlety, refinement and sophisticated beauty.  I wrote a blog posting about this superb, snow bleached cloth that you can see here.
This hand plied asa or bast fiber cloth is pretty much as good as it gets–as far as Japanese bast hand weaving goes.  The thinness of the fibers, the luxurious draping of the cloth and the more-often-than-not delicate patterning of kasuri weaving is just remarkable, no matter which way you look at it. These two pieces are exquisite.  On the piece shown above and below, what a stunning blue and white check with random, minuscule flecks of grey/black.  Super-sophisticated.And the piece below, with its tiny, kasuri repeat: heaven.Of course this cloth is revered by textile lovers in Japan and its high-quality also commands a high price.

I’ve hesitated offering pieces on the Internet because so much of the beauty of these pieces is lost in translation: you have to sense these pieces by touching them and looking closely at the same time.  They are and were luxury items, and as they are not flashy or graphic, their appeal is best understood in a personal encounter.



Comments closed

  1. Comment by Allison:

    I’m sure they’re better in person as you say, but their lovely subtlety definitely comes through in these photos as well. Very special.

    March 7, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  2. Comment by velma:

    sigh. exquisite.

    March 8, 2012 @ 4:27 pm