See more objects with the tag felt.

See more objects with the color darkslategrey darkslateblue darkgrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.

  • Work on this object ended.



  • You found it!

Textile, Circle Square II

This is a Textile. It was collaborator: Textile Research Institute of Gumma. It is dated ca. 1995–98 and we acquired it in 2002. Its medium is wool and its technique is triple-layered plain weave in wool, cut, felted, and dyed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Circle Square II, designed by Hideko Takahashi in 1995, exemplifies varied experiments with the shrinking and cutting of a triple-layered cloth resulting in what seems to be a single layer with appliquéd pockets. Takahashi describes her three-layer textiles as a “two-layer cake.” She distinguishes the alternating blue-and-white colored layers that comprise the “cake” by cutting weft threads that float above the base cloth. A felting process shrinks the cloth and diminishes its size by 20 percent. The textile is then acid dyed, causing further shrinkage so that when finished the length is 53 percent and the width 38 percent of the original size.
Takahashi is part of a generation of Japanese designers working within what now could be considered a tradition of Japanese experimentation with textile forms and surfaces. Educated at the Otsuka Textile Design Institute, she has also studied and apprenticed with Junichi Arai, one of the preeminent textile designers of the last 20 years. She learned from Arai the importance of combining both the hand and advanced technology in textile design and production. Takahashi has focused her investigations and experimentations primarily in the medium of wool fiber and has transformed two-dimensional planes of wool into three-dimensional sculptural surfaces.
This work, together with the six other Japanese textiles proposed for acquisition, will begin to establish a strong core of contemporary textiles, an area specifically targeted for acquisition. They reflect some of the best textiles made during the late 20th century. Studying these textiles will add to an understanding of not only current Japanese technology but also of long-standing textile traditions in Japan.

This object was donated by The Museum of Modern Art. It is credited Gift of The Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the designer.

  • Neck collar Necklace
  • molded plastic, mold-blown glass.
  • Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collection Acquisitions Program....
  • 1995-8-7
  • Textile, Kibiso Circle
  • jacquard float weave raw silk and kibiso, hand trimmed.
  • Courtesy of NUNO Corporation, Tsuruoka Fabric Industry Cooperative, and....
  • 89.2015.17

Its dimensions are

Warp x Weft: 424.2 x 53.3 cm (13 ft. 11 in. x 21 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Circle Square II; Collaborator: Textile Research Institute of Gumma (Japan); Japan; wool; Warp x Weft: 424.2 x 53.3 cm (13 ft. 11 in. x 21 in.); Gift of The Museum of Modern Art, courtesy of the designer; 2002-17-1

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Circle Square II |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=4 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>