Fashioned in the Amami islands of Japan, Oshima Tsumugi silk has long been admired for its understated beauty, incredible softness, and comfortable year-round lightness. The rich fabric is created through a remarkable and laborious process: from pattern design and cotton-thread binding, to over 100 rounds of plant and mud dyeing and weaving. This series of steps may take up to one year. Despite the high production values and complexities, Oshima Tsumugi kimono can be worn only for non-ceremonial occasions, since woven fabric is considered to be a less elevated technique than paint-dyed fabric.
This special installation introduces UMMA audiences to one of the ten exceptional Oshima Tsumugi kimono recently donated to the Museum by Kazuko Miyake. Thanks to Mrs. Miyake and her older sister, Shizuko Iwata, who previously gifted her kimono and other formal garment collection, UMMA holds more than 300 traditional Japanese ensembles.