Starry Indigo embodies two vital Japanese textile traditions which derive from the kimono: indigo dyeing which can achieve the darkest and lightest of blues through repeated dipping in the dye vat, and woven silk accentuated by luxurious metallic coated washi thread (silver in Starry Indigo). The appearance of starlets twinkling in a midnight blue sky is made possible by reinterpreting these traditions for a contemporary lifestyle while reinforcing the extraordinary craftsmanship required to make this cloth.
It is not surprising that Hosoo, which made Starry Indigo, is a Kyoto-based company founded in 1688. The company’s history can be traced back to Kyoto’s silk industry of the sixth century and is particularly known for its richly colored and textured surfaces that were popularized by the Imperial Court of Kyoto. Today, the company continues to develop high-end textiles for fashion designers, architects, and interior designers, which keeps alive these centuries-old textile techniques.
The textile collection has several small fragments of Japanese textiles dating from the nineteenth century that are woven with silk and silver foil on washi. Starry Indigo and these examples from the collection prepare the metallic thread in the same way: silver (or gold) foil is pasted on sheets of washi paper, which are then shredded for weaving. Traditional Japanese washi paper is used due to its strength and durability.