Tatinoya Logo
If it can be woven we will weave it

The weavers of Tatinoya exemplify how a traditional Kyoto art and craft has applied its precise techniques to satisfy contemporary tastes for natural wood. Testament to their innovation, Tatinoya received a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry award for its newest textile, ki-ori, or “woven wood” (木織り).  As makers of Kyoto’s revered Nishijin-style fabrics, Tatinoya adapted its techniques for weaving gold leaf into elaborate brocades to transform thin wood sheets, known as tennâge, into thread. Along with Tatinoya’s earlier modification of widening their looms from a narrow width for the kimono’s obi sash, they pushed on to design their exclusive genuine wood textile. 

Tatinoya’s union of weaving with wood in ki-ori has fashioned a lightweight but durable and pliable material that remains resistant to bending through the aid of a natural resin. Ki-ori, moreover, preserves the original grain of the slice of wood. The total effect is appealing in its warm colors as well as soothing for its smoothness, matte sensibility and traces of its earthy scent. It is sewable, stable to surrounding climatic changes, water- and germ-resistant, enables 3D forms, and where possible, is generally sourced from leftover planks and veneers.

Akiko Yoshioka, daughter of Tatinoya’s founder Tachino Masahatsu and the current manager, never intended to continue the family business. Only once she left home did she realize just how rare her childhood immersion in the threads and looms of Nishijin weaving were to contemporary life. She invokes the respectful Japanese value of “mottainai” to explain her consciousness as a young adult that something so extraordinary shouldn’t go to waste.

Tatinoya had long been in the textile design industry with its several hundred brocade patterns, one which graces the entry of Kongobuji Temple on the sacred mountain of Koyasan. But Yoshioka together with her father forged ahead beyond traditional realms to create a wood material for automobile interiors. This intricate testing led to the current ki-ori that she concedes “looks simply brilliant.”  So much so that she challenges architects, engineers, builders and designers of all kinds to consider unique ways they can incorporate woven wood into their work.

Beautiful wood fabric being woven with the wood grains intact

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