They are whispering.
With some brittle sounds and soft fluttering, the fabrics try to take flight.
With whistling washi and crisping cottons, throbbing woollens and humming silks, these textiles communicate in a modest, almost indiscernible manner.
They seem to be simply resting on these pages, as if in a light sleep, enticing you to touch. Inviting you to take them up in your world of creativity. They convey a sense of normalcy and reciprocity; they do not alarm nor shout out loud. They are discreet and at times almost secret. But upon closer inspection they do behave formidable. They are fine yet robust, sheer yet timid, brushed yet smooth, matte yet shimmering; and seem to combine all contrasts within their inner selves. The fibres are magnificent since the textile makers use hemp, linen, silk, bio cottons and woollens as well as paper. Often combined between animal and vegetal, or rich and poor, or rough and smooth – even in composition, the skills of the region are palpable.
At times the weavings are double, a form of beauty hidden within the garment,
or three-dimensional giving volume to fashions. Fabrics also for the home, with beautiful honeycombs and cotton duvets, linen towelling and crinkled qualities, imagined for current simple lifestyles, in search of perfecting the everyday; dusting, sweeping and ironing can each be considered as ordinary moments of meditation. Some rare colour emerges, in wild neckties, strange cut yarns and creative jacquards to compensate for the severe integrity of these weavers, young people that inherited the region’s history and skills but change things around on a contemporary scale, blending the old with the new.
Built upon centuries of fabric crafting, the vicinity of Yamanashi is well positioned even in a geographical manner; with Mount Fuji providing a symbolic graphic backdrop to the weavers’ holistic hopes and beliefs, patiently awaiting for seasons to pass, witnessing collections yet to be created, approving of trade yet to be made. A business model that is at once ancient and contemporary, with small companies working on a global scale out of a centralized regional place. A way of working in which humanity is present, altruism flourishes and beauty prevails; an innovative structure to continue the production of cultural cloth on a human scale, an open and hospitable climate where time is slowed down to invest energy and creativity into the process, a path to stillness.
As we suffer from an economic system that is no longer, democratic rule that needs to be reinvented and a planet that is increasingly angry about the way we treat her, our fragmented self is frantically in search of new identities, looking for a way that makes sense. Man will go on a quest for inner peace and stillness, with a renewed respect for what life is after all. A new path to sustainable growth that fits our ailing planet, a step forward towards collaboration and exchange, an innovative society that works and plays at the same time, cherishing the making process, embracing the machine, adulating the product.
A stillness that is urgent.
– Lidewij Edelkoort