Textiles Summer School

The Textiles Summer School (TSS) is an ongoing collaborative project involving national and international designers, textile engineers, textile producers and materials scientists from Japan and overseas.

WHAT is the TSS 2022 ?

The Textiles Summer School (TSS) is an ongoing collaborative project involving national and international designers, textile engineers, textile producers and materials scientists from Japan and overseas.

TSS 2022 is organised by a committee of volunteer members from different disciplines and will consist of two parts – the first an  online lecture series by leading international  textiles and materials practicioners, open to all. The second part will be a hybrid online/physical workshop held in collaboration with designers, research centres and businesses involved in the textile industry in Japan and internationally.
(*This project is supported  by a grant from the Pola Art Foundation).

*This page contains details of the workshop. Please click here for information on the online lecture series.

THEME

TSS2022 will explore new possibilities of textiles from a materials standpoint, with a focus on ‘Japanese Jacquard Weaving’ and its potential for the creation of  ‘e-textiles’ or experimental textile works.

For the workshop, interdisciplinary teams of designers from Japan and abroad will collaborate with businesses and research centres in the Nishijin and Tango areas, Kyoto’s main textile production areas. They will  exchange ideas, co-create and communicate using online tools ,followed by physical  prototyping in Japan.  Each team’s project process will be documented and  archived on this website and the project outputs curated into  a multi-city touring exhibition in early 2023. 

The Unique Characteristics of the Japanese Jacquard

Background

Until the introduction of the European Jacquard loom in the Meiji Period, Japanese looms and weaving practice were based on the narrow-width cloth required for the production of kimono and obi. They could not produce the broader fabric widths required for the international market. For the European Jacquard loom, fabric width, multiple repeats, speed and optimisation of weaving, along with reduction of costs were of key importance. In Japan, the ability to produce intricate weave patterns with minimal repeats over a 40cmsurface on a loom, which could physically fit into the limited spaces of a highly specialised cottage industry were the prime considerations.
Thus, the Japanese Jacquard developed as a context-specific hybrid, which operated on the same basic principles as the European Jacquard but which integrated Dobby and other mechanisms such as the botou and fumise. These allowed a wide vocabulary of specific weave techniques and yarn processes to be innovated whilst retaining traditional methods of pattern drafting. By bringing together the advantageous aspects of both systems, it allows a degree of customisation and scaling up or down depending on circumstances not possible in Western Jacquards. It is why it has become a focus of interest for experimentation among textile designers and artists in Japan today.

Some Japanese Jacquard Advantages for Experimentation

A variety of yarns can be used on the shuttle loom, including high-twist yarns, relatively thick yarns and specialist hybrid yarns like the tape yarns created by Tamiya Raden from finely sliced abalone on washi paper. Experimental yarns of this type, in which material commonly not used for weaving is blended or spun with a yarn component, open new avenues for textile designers.
The weft yarns are not automatically cut on both sides as in the Western Jacquard, but remain connected in a single line until the end of the shuttle tube. This factor and the ability to use thicker yarns than a Western Jacquard enable the use of conductive yarns, the creation of seamless looped fabric for whole garment production as well as multi-layered fabric – degrees of customisation and innovation vital to the development of new fabrics, particularly for the luxury market. This has made the Japanese Jacquard a focus of interest to those involved in the emerging areas of e-textiles and sustainable textiles.

e-textiles + Smart textiles

Smart textiles can be defined as textiles that are able to sense and respond to changes in their environment. They may be divided into two classes: passive and active smart textiles Passive smart textiles, which are sensors and can only sense the environment; Active smart textiles, which can sense stimuli from the environment and also react to them; simultaneously with the sensor function, they also play an actuator role; Very smart textiles, which are able to adapt their behaviour to the circumstances.

Koncar, V. 2016. Smart Textiles and their Applications. Woodhead Publishing.

Intelligent textiles can be defined as those that have specific properties generated through the choice of yarn/material, spinning and weave process and the fabric’s subsequent treatment. Chrimen (silk crepe) is one such traditional example.

Workshop

Design tutors from the TSS network in Japan and internationally have been invited to form a team managed by them. Teams will be asked to propose ideas for a collaborative project with one of the six collaborators in Japan (see attached) following a brief set by the .organisers. This will be done in advance of the workshop to ensure that the best match is made and the briefing and mentoring process is smooth and relevant. The active collaborative period will coincide with the academic terms (September – December). Teams will be mentored throughout the workshop period and regular briefing/idea sharing/discussion sessions will be held between collaborators and workshop participants as a whole. The joint work will be fabricated in Japan and the final pieces curated into an exhibition to be shown at MTRL/Kyoto, KyoTango and Saga University of the Arts with an accompanying digital catalogue.
International teams that wish to create a parallel interpretative work can do so but we do not have a materials or transport budget for them to be sent to Japan for exhibition purposes. They can be included digitally as part of the final presentation materials unless the transport costs are borne by the team.
Individuals responding to the public call on the FAB Cafe/MTRL website, who wish to join existing teams, will need to be designers, who are either aware of textile techniques, alumni of the TSS or have the other technical skills required by the team and are willing to join an existing team. Each international team will have a bilingual coordinator to facilitate the interchange, which will be online and organised with consideration of time zone differences. Guidance will be given on the formats required for conversion of design data into the appropriate Japanese Jacquard formats, which will be done at the Kyoto Prefectural Centre for Northern Industry and the Kyoto Municipal Industrial Technology Research Institute.

The Design Brief

The brief is not intended to be prescriptive but teams should consider the specific technical context of their collaborator (see attached) in advance of the workshop. Teams are encouraged to put forward three possible areas of interest for discussion with the collaborator before the final concept is finalised prior to the workshop start. Teams are encouraged to pursue ideas sparked by their encounter with their Japanese collaborator and the nature of their practice in two major areas:
• avenues opened by the Japanese Jacquard loom in the area of e-textiles, smart textiles,
or animated textiles.
• take a materials-based experimental approach through weave or surface treatment
of traditional Japanese textiles using any type of Japanese loom or process.

Schedule

Sep. Early
  • Two Technical briefings – Japanese Jacquard design data preparation and yarn  (Kaori Ueda) + E-textile and materials (Tomohiro Inoue + Kizuka-sensei.) Video sent to teams
  • Joint sessions between teams.
Sep. Late
  • Joint sessions between mentors and teams
  • 1st Prototyping with facilitation support only between team
  • WIP presentation to mentors :two sessions (Japan/International)
Oct. Early

-Nov. Mid

  • Joint sessions between mentors and teams
  • 2nd Prototyping with facilitation support only between team
  • WIP presentation to mentors :two sessions (Japan/International)
Nov. Late
  • Final concept decided and concept visualization and description sent
  • Fabrication of prototypes
  • Preparation of documentation for exhibition
Dec.
  • Final Presentations of work
  • Editing and completing documentation for exhibition

 CONTACT

If you have any questions about this event, please send an email to the following address. (Contact: Kinoshita, Iida)
info.mtrl@loftwork.com

Tango Team

Kyoto Prefectural Institute for Northern Industry

As a research facility run by the Kyoto Prefectural Government, it is responsible for the support and development of the textile industry in Tango. It has weaving machines and equipment for weaving, dyeing and twisting yarns of all ages, as well as testing facilities and a textile archive. It can also process yarns for weaving and is equipped with an Haccho twisting machine. Haccho high-twist yarn is twisted using a method unique to Japan and is an essential material for Tango Chirimen.

  • Type of fabric: Tango crepe, obi fabric, Western-style jacquard and many others.
  • Weaving width: 40 cm – 130 cm
  • Warp yarn type: raw silk
  • Other: designs can be made into data

Tamiya Raden Ltd.

Has a history of collaboration with many luxury brands and owns a wide range of weaving machines.

  • Type of weaving: raden-ori (a weaving technique devised to weave in raden without crushing the tape-like threads)
  • Weaving width: 32 cm – 97 cm
  • Type of warp yarn: silk
  • Other: designs cannot be made into data

Usui Orimono Co., Ltd.

Also produces experimental fabrics using shrinkage and high-twist yarns, which are the principles of the chirimen crepe process, on a white polyester crape fabric. As it is a white fabric, printing on the surface is possible.

  • Type of fabric: woven on a dobby loom, crepe fabric
  • Weaving width: 110 cm
  • Warp yarn type: polyester
  • Other: no Jacquard looms

Nishijin Team

Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Technology and Culture

An industrial support organization that provides comprehensive research, testing, training and other technical support to the textile industry. It has created a data format for operating Japanese-style Jacquards (CGS format) and continues to sell general purpose software. Suitable for collaboration with overseas research institutes, e.g. for data compatibility development.

  • Textile types: gold brocade (vestments: textiles mainly related to Buddhism), obi fabrics, Western-style jacquards and many others
  • Weaving width: any width
  • Type of warp: silk yarns
  • Other: designs can be converted into data for Jacquard, but samples cannot be woven

Katsura-Kigyou Ten

Japanese-style Jacquard looms can be used. Japanese-style loom structure, but can weave wide widths. Also, gold leaf is woven using a spatula. Taking advantage of hand weaving, weaving with special weft yarns that cannot be woven on an automatic loom is also possible.

  • Type of fabric: gold brocade (vestments: textiles mainly associated with Buddhism)
  • Type of loom: Japanese-style Jacquard handloom
  • Weaving type: handloom only
  • Weaving width: 70 cm
  • Warp yarn type: silk yarn
  • Other: designs can be made into data

Morisan Co., Ltd.

The company makes traditional gold brocade fabrics. Patterns can be woven on a twill or satin ground using golden threads or slit yarn for the weft. New patterns can be made based on existing patterning; colour matching with Pantone is done visually. Up to eight weft colours are possible and the warp is white or navy blue. Design guidelines can be provided for designers.

  • Weaving width: 70 cm
  • Type of loom: Japanese Jacquard loom
  • Other: designs can be converted to data

Yamasaki Orimono Co.,Ltd.

Established in 1929. The company is mainly engaged in the production of mounting strips for hanging scrolls and other objects. Omoteso sakibi refers to textiles used for making scrolls and hanging scrolls, or for making folding screens and fusuma sliding doors by attaching them to wooden frames. It belongs to a type of Nishijin brocade fabric (kinran) with a fabric width of approximately 70 cm. The company also produces high value-added fabrics for couture. Main overseas customers are Taiwan and China.

  • Type of fabric: gold brocade (surface decoration strips: mainly used for hanging scrolls, etc.)
  • Weaving width: approx. 70 cm.
  • With a grant from

    Pola Art Foundation

  • In collaboration with

    • Kyoto Prefectural Institute for Northern Industry
    • Kyoto Municipal Industrial Technology Research Institute
    • Nishijin Textile Industry Association

    *in random order

  • Supported by

    Kyoto City, Kyoto prefecture

Outline

Name

The Textiles Summer School (TSS) is an ongoing collaborative project involving national and international designers, textile engineers, textile producers and materials scientists from Japan and overseas.

Mission

Textiles Summer School

Organizer

  • The committee of TSS

Members

  • Julia Cassim (FRCA)

    Professor, Kyoto Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology

    Julia studied fine art in the UK and Japan and is an international authority on inclusive design. As arts columnist of The Japan Times from 1984-99, she curated and designed award-winning exhibitions for audiences with visual impairments founding a non-profit organisation to increasing cognitive and physical access to museum collections. In 2000, she initiated the pioneering Challenge Workshops programme at the RCA which brought professional designers with disabled and older people in an inclusive co-design process. It was the subject of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010. Julia was included in Design Week’s Hot 50 list of people who had most influenced the design world in 2010. In 2014, she became a Professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, charged with setting up KYOTO Design Lab, as a centre for interdisciplinary design and innovation. Two D-Lab Lab projects she directed bringing together science and design won a Dutch Design Award in 2016 while another won the Best Idea award at the 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival.

    [ Photo: Petr Krejc ]

    Julia studied fine art in the UK and Japan and is an international authority on inclusive design. As arts columnist of The Japan Times from 1984-99, she curated and designed award-winning exhibitions for audiences with visual impairments founding a non-profit organisation to increasing cognitive and physical access to museum collections. In 2000, she initiated the pioneering Challenge Workshops programme at the RCA which brought professional designers with disabled and older people in an inclusive co-design process. It was the subject of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010. Julia was included in Design Week’s Hot 50 list of people who had most influenced the design world in 2010. In 2014, she became a Professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, charged with setting up KYOTO Design Lab, as a centre for interdisciplinary design and innovation. Two D-Lab Lab projects she directed bringing together science and design won a Dutch Design Award in 2016 while another won the Best Idea award at the 2019 Copenhagen Fashion Film Festival.

    [ Photo: Petr Krejc ]

  • Kaori Ueda

    Associate professor, Kyoto Saga University of Arts

    Based in Kyoto, Kaori Ueda is textile designer and researcher specializing in weaving and Associate Professor at Kyoto Saga University of Arts. A graduate of the  Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2007, she returned to  Japan and began researching traditional textile design here.
    Her research is practice-based rather than theoretical using actual design methods drawn from evidence in historic books and materials.  She has recreated Old chirimen fabric to compare its quality with current chirimen fabric and show its material qualities outside its usual cultural context of the kimono.
    Her other interest is in loom history and the differences between the European Jacquard and those used in Japan for traditional clothing.
    https://www.kyoto-saga.ac.jp/about/teachers/2156

    [ Photo: Masaki Kawabata]

    Based in Kyoto, Kaori Ueda is textile designer and researcher specializing in weaving and Associate Professor at Kyoto Saga University of Arts. A graduate of the  Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2007, she returned to  Japan and began researching traditional textile design here.
    Her research is practice-based rather than theoretical using actual design methods drawn from evidence in historic books and materials.  She has recreated Old chirimen fabric to compare its quality with current chirimen fabric and show its material qualities outside its usual cultural context of the kimono.
    Her other interest is in loom history and the differences between the European Jacquard and those used in Japan for traditional clothing.
    https://www.kyoto-saga.ac.jp/about/teachers/2156

    [ Photo: Masaki Kawabata]

  • Tomohiro Inoue

    FABLAB Kitakagaya

    Tomohiro Inoue teaches digital fabrication to citizens at FABLAB Kitakagaya. His main area of activity is making things and creating things using digital fabrication, and he is developing a movement to promote the makers movement so that it does not become a transient movement.
    https://fablabkitakagaya.org/
    YouFab Global Creative Awards 2015 FINALISTS

    Tomohiro Inoue teaches digital fabrication to citizens at FABLAB Kitakagaya. His main area of activity is making things and creating things using digital fabrication, and he is developing a movement to promote the makers movement so that it does not become a transient movement.
    https://fablabkitakagaya.org/
    YouFab Global Creative Awards 2015 FINALISTS

  • Junya Iida

    Loftwork Inc.
    Creative Director

    After working as an engineer for a semiconductor company for eight years, Junya Iida moved to the UK to study art and design. He graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London with a degree in Graphic Design. After returning to Japan, he worked as a graphic designer at SANDWICH, an art, architecture, and design company, before joining Loftwork in 2018.

    After working as an engineer for a semiconductor company for eight years, Junya Iida moved to the UK to study art and design. He graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London with a degree in Graphic Design. After returning to Japan, he worked as a graphic designer at SANDWICH, an art, architecture, and design company, before joining Loftwork in 2018.

  • Kosuke Kinoshita

    Loftwork Inc. / MTRL・FabCafe Kyoto Marketing and Produce

    Kosuke Kinoshita has been involved in “MTRL (Material)”, which supports co-creation and innovation of manufacturing companies using materials as a starting point, and “FabCafe Kyoto”, a community base where various creators, researchers, and companies gather with the keywords of technology and creation, since its launch. Through online/offline workshop management and exhibition planning production, he is practising “creating a place where chemical reactions occur” and “designing contexts that connect things from different fields.
    https://loftwork.com/jp/people/kousuke_kinoshita

    Kosuke Kinoshita has been involved in “MTRL (Material)”, which supports co-creation and innovation of manufacturing companies using materials as a starting point, and “FabCafe Kyoto”, a community base where various creators, researchers, and companies gather with the keywords of technology and creation, since its launch. Through online/offline workshop management and exhibition planning production, he is practising “creating a place where chemical reactions occur” and “designing contexts that connect things from different fields.
    https://loftwork.com/jp/people/kousuke_kinoshita

  • An Kato

    Loftwork Inc.
    Creative Director

    Born in Aichi Prefecture. Graduated from Nagoya University of Arts. My research theme at university was “Body and Clothing”.
    Also involved in planning exhibitions and campus renovation projects.

    In 2021, I experienced the power of creativity through an internship at FabCafe Nagoya. Seeking to encounter new values created by various fields and creativity, she joined Loftwork.

    Born in Aichi Prefecture. Graduated from Nagoya University of Arts. My research theme at university was “Body and Clothing”.
    Also involved in planning exhibitions and campus renovation projects.

    In 2021, I experienced the power of creativity through an internship at FabCafe Nagoya. Seeking to encounter new values created by various fields and creativity, she joined Loftwork.

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