This fine, dark red, encircling fishing net by Toray Industries (designed in 1996, manufactured in 2003), requires very specialized physical characteristics for its ultimate performance as a fishing net. It must be strong enough for fishermen to haul in hundreds of pounds of fish, while light enough for easy handling and storage.

Made of Tetoron polyester, the net has the ability to expand from 1½ inches to 132 inches and weighs only a few pounds. It is machine-made and consists of pairs of twisted threads that connect to form the net by crossing through each other. The basic movements of the threads are the same used to make a bobbin lace net, or bobbinet, a technique developed in the late 19th century. The technique is modernized here with polyester yarn. In the final stage of production, the textile undergoes a heat treatment to eliminate distortions and create a flattened surface. Since the net is essentially knotless, it prevents bruising of the fish, which is important to cultures, like Japan, that rely on presentation—whether in food, tea, or flowers—to assure a harmonious ensemble.

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