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Textile of the Week: 201104 Kinran
Kinran is one of the many specialty fabrics woven in the Nishijin District of Kyoto. This particular yardage was never used and came to me as a full, pristine bolt.
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Label Woven Into the Bolt with Gold Threads
The beginning of the bolt has a section woven into it stating that the flat threads are leafed in pure gold (本金箔) and that the rounded threads are wrapped in pure gold (本金絲).
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Portion of Label Appearing on Front of Yardage
It bears the  seal of the Nishijin Industry Association (西陣工業組合) certifying (品質表示証紙) that it is woven in pure silk throughout (100%属糸等使用), and is the proper yardage for a fukuro-obi (袋帯). The serial number is 2326.
Textile of the Week–Kinran 201104
Pure Gold on Silk
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Sample 201104-Kinran
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Portion of Label Appearing on Back of Yardage
A small stick-on label tell us that the coded name for the particular weaving house is 6005, ten of these obi were woven, that it was woven by a person named Oka, or whose last name begins with Oka- (), and it was inspected by Tamoto (田本).
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Manufacturer's Information
You may see on the back of the sample that the flat gold-leafed threads are gilded on both sides, as opposed to the kinran seen in sample 201103 of this series, which are gilded on one side only.
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Back Detail–Some of the wrapped gold threads float across the back.
Front Detail–Notice the “Greek Key" pattern in the background.
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Silk Strand Wrapped in Gold
Above is a microscopic view of the silk wrapped in gold as seen loosely meandering in shot of the detail of the back of the yardage. And the same strand, below, teased to separate the silk and the gold.
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Silk and Gold Wrapper Teased Apart
The red edge to the flat layer is the edge of the cut paper to which the gold is laminated. The fibrous texture of the paper may also be seen to the inside of the gold tube in the enlargement above.




Without viewing the actual gold and silk woven sample, it is difficult to appreciate the wondrous quality of how the light reflects so differently off the mirror-like surface of the flat stands of gold, the sparkle of the wrapped gold, and the luster of the bright blue silk filaments. This creates a very dynamic show.
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Strands of Silk Filament Woven in Conjunction with
Gold-Wrapped Strands
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