Hitoe, detail
Silk, cotton (?)
Kinu koubai

The close-up shown above is approximately half an inch square. Kinu koubai is a weave said to use silk as its primary material, with cotton interspersed at regular intervals to form a grid in the warps and wefts, as seen above. This makes a lightweight, airy fabric.

From a distance, the grid nearly disappears, as below.

The blue and white design looks very much as though it was inspired by Hokusai’s famous woodblock print entitled Red Fuji.

The textile designer made a major change, however, and turned the clouds 90 degrees, so they become long vertical dashes. Note that the deep blue down the center seam of the hitoe shown below is not a trick of the light. Just as in Hokusai’s Red Fuji, where the clouds thin out and show the blue sky, at the center seam the ‘clouds’ also thin out and deepen the ground color.

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