KEY WORD : art history / crafts
Brocade. A general term for a variety of flat multicolored, woven-pattern fabrics. Recently it suggests silk woven with an uneven number of colors, usually blue, red, yellow, reddish purple and green, through supplementary weft patterns in glossed silks and metallic threads. The ground may be plain, twill, or satin weave and the weft threads go unbroken from selvage to selvage. In the chromatically simple warp nishiki, tate-nishiki 経錦, a warp of different threads is combined with a single color weft for each row. The width of the cloth permits only a limited number of warp thread colors. The more colorful weft nishiki, yoko-nishiki 緯錦 weaves any number of differently colored weft threads into a monochromatic warp. The nishiki technique was developed in China and the earliest nishiki in Japan dates from the third century. Nara period nishiki feature hunting scenes, stripes, and, most frequently, flowers. By the Edo period the Nishijin 西陣 district of Kyoto had become the center of nishiki production.


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