Embossed Stainless Steel was designed by Reiko Sudo, one of Japan’s most important contemporary textile designers. Educated at Musashino Art University, she and Junichi Arai (Japanese, 1932–2017) were the co-founders in 1984 of the Japanese company and store, NUNO, which produces textiles of extraordinary ingenuity and beauty. Sudo and the other designers at NUNO combine tradition and advanced technologies with remarkable creativity, which led them to the forefront of textile design field.

Embossed Stainless Steel, designed in 1990, is made exactly like Stainless Steel Gloss; the polyester filament of the textile has been woven, calendar pressed, and spatter-plated with stainless steel. In this piece, however, an additional embossing step has been added after the spatter-plating to create a semi-transparent fabric with a textured surface. This unusual combination of an automobile manufacturing process with textiles makes this series of stainless steel textile very distinctive.

Matilda McQuaid is the Deputy Director of Curatorial and Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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