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2018 $ £ € ¥ May we all prosper
My son asked me for fabric to patch his favorite denim t-shirt. This gave me the opportunity to go through a basket of Japanese textiles with him. During this time, one dark hand woven, cotton indigo panel fell out of the stack and he mentioned that particular piece of cotton would be great.
My first response was “No, that is really special fabric for a conservator to use.” My son is thirty years old, and knows my affinity for cloth. “. “Yes, that is why it’s perfect to use”, replied my son.
Fifteen years earlier this conversation happened over a denim pair of jeans (today would be right in fashion) that had tears above the knees. My son looked ‘homeless ‘ to me and I patched his jeans with torn fabric from an old Japanese tsutsugaki futon cover. He still has those jeans.
He now has a story for all seven textiles in the basket. The contents weren’t necessarily valuable monetarily, but two were purchased in 1977 early in my career. One light blue and dark blue cotton double ikat panel was the ‘gift’ I brought to meet my future mother-in-law in 1982.
Another handwoven cloth was blue checked, cotton with many shades of blue depending on the number of dippings in the indigo bathe. The pattern resembled the pearl snapped shirt he was wearing. I told him I purchased that fabric at Toji temple flea market and met Hiroshi Sugimoto. He mentioned he was photographer, but doing business in NYC with Japanese Antiques. That was 1977. Today he is very famous. Our paths crossed again while he was signing books at SF Asian Art Museum in 2002. Yes, he remembered that moment, that mutual admiration of beautiful threads.
The sharing of my special textiles was a moment of personal delight. And all of this because my son asked specifically for one to patch his beloved denim shirt.
May we have peace,
PS. Research ‘the planet money t-shirt’, a link my son shared.