Tamiya Raden: From seashells to Textiles in Kyoto

How are seashells magically transformed into fabric? It was a dream come true to have the chance to visit the innovative textile company Tamiya Raden in the seaside town of Kyotango, Kyoto. Getting to see, touch, and learn about these exquisite textiles in person was an opportunity I couldn't miss. 

Tamiya Raden weaves contemporary textiles while supporting time honored Japanese traditions of kimono. Each strand of seashell, woven by hand, emits the light of the sea within the fabric. Their textiles have been seen on the runways of Guo Pei, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and many others.

Please enjoy our short video below, and scroll on for a photo diary of our visit. A heartfelt thank you to Kyoji-san for the tour, Ayana Naoi for translating and making the visit possible, and Ferdinand Maubert for documenting our visit.

Jenny and Ayana looking at details of seashell artwork on washi paper

Iridescent seashell cut and pieced into floral design

Ayana and Jenny look at details of seashell artwork in the studio

Kyoji Tamiya shows hanging iridescent sliced washi, ready for weaving.

Seashell and gold foil on washi, cut into tiny strips

Finished obi textile with seashell threads by Tamiya Raden

burnished silver leaf on washi for iridescent effects

seashell on plastic cut into tiny strips by Tamiya Raden

Leather strips woven into silk warp laid on top of wood veneer strips. 

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