We've been working with Brooklyn-based textile gallery Sri Threads for almost a year now, and their beautiful, ever-evolving collection of antique Japanese textiles never ceases to amaze us.
The collection belongs to Stephen Szcepanek, a true authority in the field. Before becoming a vintage textile dealer — someone with enough expertise to write scholarly articles on things like region-specific fibers for weaving — Stephen came to New York to become an artist, and now he offers fabric that he describes as "art without an artist."
Sri's extensive collection focuses on hand-loomed, indigo fabrics from Japan that range from the early 19th century to the 1950s. Each piece reflects both the rich textile tradition and the utilitarian demands of rural Japan. "Sashiko" stitches reinforced hard-working pieces, while "Boro" patchworking repaired tears and holes. "Katazome" and "Tsutsugaki" resist-dyeing was used to create tortoise shell, maple leaf, and chrysanthemum motifs that show the order and beauty of the natural world. The result is a perfect balance of utility and beauty.
The pieces in Sri's collection are left untouched, presented in their original condition, and can now be re-appropriated in almost any way imaginable. They've been used, washed, torn, repaired, and beaten up countless times over the past hundred years, so they'll have no problem being adapted for wall decorations, scarves, table runners, blankets, or placemats. We've even had an awesome customer frame a "katazome" resist-dyed fabric panel for their living room.
We've just added a big new batch of amazing one-of-a-kind pieces from Sri. Here's a close-up look at a few of them: