In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection.

Origami Pleat was designed in 1997 by Reiko Sudo, one of Japan’s most important contemporary textile designers and co-founder of Nuno Corporation. The textile is a contemporary interpretation of centuries-old hand pleating. It is made by creating a paper “mold” using an origami or Japanese paper-folding technique. The polyester fabric is then “pushed” into the paper mold and clipped together so that when subjected to heat the polyester will retain the sharp, crisp angles of the paper. Color is achieved by using colored dye-transfer paper in the paper mold. When the fabric and paper go through the heat-transfer process, colors are transferred and pleats are permanently pressed. The gradations of color are dependent upon how close the fabric is to the color paper. Origami Pleat was included in the exhibition, Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles, organized by The Museum of Modern Art and The Saint Louis Art Museum in 1998.


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

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