Kasuri is the Japanese name for the resist dyeing technique known as "ikat" in other parts of the world.|
Threads are bundled and portions of the thread bundles are covered with dye-resistant material so that the dye cannot penetrate ("resist-dyed") before the fabric is woven. After unbundling, the dyed and undyed edges do not line up exactly in the weaving process, resulting in a blurred or “splashed” effect.
The randomness of these blurred edges is considered to be an important part of the beauty of kasuri.
While Japan is known for silk textiles, this collection focuses instead on cotton and hemp, the textiles of the common people. And there are no bright colors here, the dye is indigo.
There are about fifty pieces on display and they are all from the first half of the 20th century. The labor-intensiveness of this hand dyeing technique eventually suppressed its production.
Today, there may be a few dyeing and weaving experts still making e-gasuri….but very few. The technique is now very rare and all the more precious.
This exhibition is open to the general public from June 12 through July 19, 2006, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
Jeffrey Krauss, Ph.D., is a passionate collector of antique and tribal textiles with a particular interest in Japanese kasuri, and specifically, picture kasuri dyed to create pictures of animals, symbols of prosperity and longevity, gods, and magical devices.
Professionally, Dr. Krauss is a telecommunications professional with a career spanning more than 30 years. Dr. Krauss is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers. He is also a supporter of the Textile Museum and conducts occasional Saturday morning sessions to discuss and present pieces from his Japanese textile collection.
Ann Marie Moeller started selling and collecting Asian antiques while an undergraduate at Harvard. She has a museum education background and was co-owner of the American Folk Art Gallery in Manhattan. Ann Marie lectures on textiles and heads the Kimono and Japanese doll departments of Arise Galleries. Ms. Moeller was the main curator for the last three National Cherry Blossom Festival kimono exhibitions hosted by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
She is also the main author of "Reading Kimono Symbols and Motifs on Japanese Textiles" (Paul Maclardy is her co-author and co-curator), which is soon to be released by Schiffer Publishing.