Taka-dai – twill (1) – Michiyama

May 30, 2009

Takadai twill mauve yellow

Following on naturally from anda-gumi or plain weave, ‘one over/under one’, is twill, ‘multiples over/under multiples’. This one is in mercerised cotton using 37 bobbins (18 on left, 19 on right) and is a 3-twill: three over/under three or sangen-gumi (san as in the number 3 and gumi just meaning braid), also referred to tsune-gumi.

I wasn’t so worried about the close tonality which obviously impacts on the clarity of the Mountain Path  – michiyama (lit. path-mountain)  – surface pattern. The texture and sheen of this yarn was such a welcome after the use of matt cotton and I rather like the idea of the purple path becoming a mauve under the mantle of yellow/green vegetation on the mountain. 

For me, a nice braid, redolent of Buddhist yamabushi or mountain priests – the ‘hard men’ of the Japanese Buddhist traditions who followed the way of physical exertion, stamina and discipline towards Enlightenment, especially in and around Kyoto (Mt Hiei) and the nearby Yamato Plain.

Makiko Tada, Comprehensive treatise of braids III: taka-dai Braids 1. Tokyo, Texte, 1998.

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