21.08.2014 § Leave a comment
Matsumoto city’s streets are preserved from the old days. They are lined with lovely shops. There was an antique Kimono shop where I bought a tie-dyed, soft turquoise blue coat and a few fabric fragments cut from old Kimono. I also ran into a gallery-looking shop that sells items handwoven by a weaver and vegetable dyer. From her I bought a peach wood-dyed, chamomile color scarf.
There were other shops too, and inspiring colors from my day trip to Matsumoto city: « Read the rest of this entry »
21.06.2012 § Leave a comment
About 25 years ago, before I started Brentano, I was studying the vegetable dye color names of ancient China. This interest was first initiated by the incredible color descriptions in a classical Chinese novel depicting the lives of the aristocracy. I wrote a lyrical prose piece about “color names in literature” that was published in a Chinese publication and have been hooked on the subject ever since.
I wrote to a textile historian once who was a professor at the then Hwa Tung Textile Academy in Shanghai. To my surprise, he wrote me back and awarded me with many texts with old Chinese weaving references and some of their vegetable-dyed scarf samples to identify the names of the dyes that I had questioned him about in my letter—such as Su Fong, Madder and Gardenia, etc. Some of those color names were among the early product color names I used when the color inspiration derived from this lineage.
These two scarves are dyed with Shiso Leaf (lavender), Gardenia (yellow), and Su Fang Wood (red). My notes about the dyes are in pencil.
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