Archives for posts with tag: textile patterns

China and Japan have been producing textiles for thousand of years.  China was the first producer of silk, so we can thank them for that.  Japan were one of the first pioneers of the technique Shibori: a method of twisting, binding, stitching, or compressing fabric to create patterns in the fabric when it’s dyed.

Though I think that China and Japan have created some of the most interesting print patterns to date.  Their patterns are deliberate and perfect almost to the point of  being obsessive.

One thing I really like about Chinese/ Japanese fabrics is that they all reference nature in some way.  Their cultures are steeped in high respect for their natural surroundings.

The natural world has long been conceived in Chinese thought as a self-generating, complex arrangement of elements that are continuously changing and interacting.  Chinese philosophy tends to focus on the relationships between the various elements in nature rather than on what makes or controls them. According to Daoist beliefs, man is a crucial component of the natural world and is advised to follow the flow of nature’s rhythms. Daoism also teaches that people should maintain a close relationship with nature for optimal moral and physical health.

<Source:Nature in Chinese Culture | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art>

In Japan the practices of Shinto, a Japanese indigenous spirituality, today refers to the various shrines, festivals, and memorials which serve various purposes.  The belief is that harmony can only be achieved with nature, a fact that is most commonly seen in Japanese flower arranging, architecture, and garden design.

In Chinese textiles there is a lot of dragon imagery.  Dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese folklore and mythology.  They represent strength, good luck, and great power.  (Control over water, rainfall and floods.)  Historically, the dragon also symbolized different ranks of power.  The 3-clawed dragon represented the commoners, the 4-clawed dragon represented the Emperor of China, and the 5-clawed dragon represented the Son of Heaven which was an emperor that was recognized as ruler of “All Under Heaven”.

All the fabrics are lusciously rich in texture, color, and imagery.  A true luxury.

It has come to the end of the week and the Textile Arts Center is hosting its first Free Friday After-Work-Shop.  The activity for tonight is screen printing on your old tee-shirts.

This got me to thinking about patterns and how I, personally, don’t take enough risk in mixing radically different patterns together.  My wardrobe leaves something to be desired on the risk front.  But now that I have graduated from various uniforms, from navy jumpers to jeans, tank, and a cardigan to a more sophisticated palette.  New York City is pretty intimidating on the fashion front.  There are a million different styles to choose from, each one more bizarre than the last, but I guess it’s what keeps New York so interesting.

My biggest problem is that I always feel like I am making a fashion faux pas. However, what I am noticing more and more is that fashion mistakes are really just an illusion.   What may feel good to one individual isn’t necessarily right on others.

So I just wanted to provide you with where I find my inspiration.  I have been fascinated with the color wheel ever since I can remember, and patterns is a great way to mix and match colors.

Thanks for the images from, and