Part 3 | The Future of Kumihimo
In the final section, the exhibition focuses on the ways in which braided silk cords are incorporated into contemporary fashion and design. The section includes works that highlight new kumihimo designs by Domyo, clothing reworked by garment modelist Akira Hasegawa that encompasses kumihimo braiding, and an installation by the UTokyo Tachi Lab at Tokyo University.
For over 350 years, Domyo has adapted to social and cultural changes and found new applications for their kumihimo products. Today, the company responds to and leads trends in fashion and continues to look for other markets for braided silk cords—including jewelry, neckties, and other accessories. In industry, traditional kumihimo techniques are being applied to braiding with carbon fiber and fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP). The continuity of the kumihimo braid structure as well as the variability of the fiber orientation angle and the rigidity of the braids help produce extremely strong cords that can be used in products as diverse as aircraft, golf clubs, and artificial limbs.