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Designers Discuss Japanese Textiles and Natural Dye

Takarajima Senkou in conversation with Emma Peters
October 11, 2018

Japanese textile design studio Takarajima Senkou’s founding director Chiharu Ohgomori and artist Mana Yoshida will share insights to their traditional studio practice. In conversation with textile designer and researcher Emma Peters (UNSW), this discussion will address the significance and challenges of maintaining a traditional handmade practice in the age of digital fabrication, and highlight opportunities for translating centuries of Japanese textile knowledge in contemporary design practice.

In 2000, designer Chiharu Ohgomori established Takarajima Senkou, a Fukuoka-based natural dyeing factory specialising indigo, mud, ink, and other plant-extracted colours, servicing the local apparel industry as well as an original range of clothing and interior pieces. Her works, including large textile pieces, garments and decorative lanterns feature in The Intuitive Thread, curated by Eloise Rapp. Presented as part of Sydney Craft Week 2018.



Chiharu Ohgomori established Takarajima Senkou in 2000 as a dyeing workshop specialising indigo, mud, ink and other plant-extracted dyes. For over 15 years she has been dyeing fabric for a diverse range of Japanese apparel brands, as well as designing and dyeing her own original range of clothing and interior pieces using all natural materials. Her unique use of shibori and freestyle staining to create pattern is poetic and considered.

Ohgomori’s work demonstrates natural dyes’ unique ability to bring out deep, rich colour in a way that chemical dyes simply can’t equal. Until the mid-19th Century, fabric was dyed exclusively with natural tinctures, however contemporary fabric dyeing predominantly favours chemical dyes. The complexity of colours we see in Ohgomori’s work can only be achieved through repeatedly immersing fabric in natural dye, layering the hues to produce unique and fascinating results.

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Emma Peters is a textile artist, writer, researcher and educator with extensive experience in the textile design industry. Peters’ studio practice and research considers our relationship with material culture in terms of narrative, identity, memory, place and connection. She is interested in the tangible relationships we have with textiles, and the ways in which we interact and express ourselves in the world through colour, pattern and texture. Materials and technology are challenged and integrated to exploit their potential as evocative, emotionally durable and sustainable tools for creating textiles.

Since working as a commercial textile designer with several of Australia’s leading homeware brands, Peters has been awarded a Master of Design, published research, exhibited as a solo artist, teaches as a sessional academic at Art & Design, UNSW and is a founding member of the Seed Stitch Collective in Sydney.

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October 11, 2018 (Thursday)
6.30pm-8pm (Doors open 6pm)

Free, bookings not required.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

(02) 8239 0055

Header image copyright Takarajima Senkou


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