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Textile, Futsu Crisscross

This is a Textile. It was designed by Reiko Sudo and manufactured by NUNO Corporation. It is dated 2009 and we acquired it in 2009. Its medium is 62% silk (raw silk and kibiso), 38% cotton and its technique is two intercrossed plain weave structures (double cloth). It is a part of the Textiles department.

Futsu Crisscross is part of a series made from kibiso and raw silk by the Japanese textile company NUNO. The combination of these two materials reveals a very rich texture, structure, and surface design. Kibiso, an industrial waste product, is the protective outer layer of the silk cocoon that is “wiped off” and discarded in order to reach the finer silk fiber underneath. Consisting of sericin and other amino acids that ultimately help to protect the silkworm, kibiso has been used by other industries in such products as foods and cosmetics. Futsu Crisscross is one of the results of NUNO’s experimentation with upcycling kibiso—using the waste product to make something of greater value, such as textiles that filter UV rays and natural moisture. These qualities make the textiles in the series eco-friendly and sustainable.

NUNO was founded in 1984 and continues to create some of the most technologically innovative and beautiful contemporary textiles anywhere in the world. In their effort to explore other uses for kibiso, NUNO also created an important social network for retired silk weavers who are now responsible for hand-weaving the fabrics in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture. Many of the workers are women who have spent their whole lives working with silkworms and whose knowledge of silk manufacturing is invaluable. Because the sericin is very gelatinous and binds like glue, it is impossible to use the 2000-denier kibiso fibers in a mechanized power loom. Nor can the fibers be machine spun into fine threads. Instead, yarns must be sorted and eventually split by hand to a manageable 200-denier slub yarn that can then be machine loomed. NUNO is particularly proud that they have simultaneously kept the elder weaving community actively involved in the local industry while making extraordinary textiles out of waste silk.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Waste Not.

This object was donated by NUNO Corporation. It is credited Gift of NUNO.

  • Textile, Futsu Crisscross
  • 62% silk (raw silk and kibiso), 38% cotton.
  • Courtesy of NUNO Corporation, Tsuruoka Fabric Industry Cooperative, and....
  • 89.2015.12

Its dimensions are

H x W: 308 × 21.6 cm (10 ft. 1 1/4 in. × 8 1/2 in.) Width stretched: 50.8 cm (20 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Futsu Crisscross; Designed by Reiko Sudo (Japanese, b. 1953); Manufactured by NUNO Corporation (Japan); Japan; 62% silk (raw silk and kibiso), 38% cotton; H x W: 308 × 21.6 cm (10 ft. 1 1/4 in. × 8 1/2 in.) Width stretched: 50.8 cm (20 in.); Gift of NUNO; 2009-48-3

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Textile, Futsu Crisscross |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>