Masaji Yamazaki with Yoshihiro Kimura. Japanese Paper on Velvet. 1993. Polyester, rayon, and washi paper, 36" (91.4 cm) wide. Mfr.: Yamazaki Vellodo Co., Ltd., Fukui; also Kimura Senko Co., Ltd., Shiga. Washi paper adhered to rayon velvet weave and rinsed
A precedent for layering in Japanese textiles and fashion can be found in the evolution of the kimono when, historically, women of high rank wore ten or more layers of robes. The layers are varied in cut and color, each carefully chosen to offset and complement one another, with all the superimpositions visible.

No other fashion and textile design team in Japan has used layering techniques more effectively to create dynamic three-dimensional work than Issey Miyake with Makiko Minagawa. The coat in Miyake's recent Prism series is made by layering pieces of different fabrics, such as polyester chiffon, and nonwoven batting on a wool base cloth, by needlepunching. Needles punch through a web of materials entangling the fibers, making the collage elements intertwine and become transparent with only blurred outlines of the original pieces.

Chiyoko Tanaka builds up layers in Grinded Fabric-Ocher: RF#4 and then she carefully rubs or "polishes" the surface with soil by using a particular brick or stone. This technique causes the textile surface to wear away, revealing previously concealed threads. By continued pressure and repeated conditioning of the cloth, Tanaka has found that she can satisfactorily transfer the texture of the earth into her canvas.

A subtractive process also helps to explain Japanese Paper on Velvet by Masaji Yamazaki and Yoshihiro Kimura. They screenprint a polyurethane binder onto velvet in order to affix the washi paper. The two-layer fabric is rinsed with water, and washi that has not adhered to the velvet is ultimately washed away.

Chiyoko Tanaka. Grinded Fabric-Ocher: RF#4. 1986-87. Ramie, linen, and Jurakudai soil, 39 3/8 x 97" (100 x 247 cm). Collection The Saint Louis Art Museum. Friends Fund. Handwoven, rubbed and polished
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Issey Miyake. (Textile Director: Makiko Minagawa). Prism Series: Coat. 1997. Wool, polyester chiffon, and batting. Mfr.: Issey Miyake Inc., Tokyo. Polyester chiffon and batting hand applied and needlepunched
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©1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.