“Tatewaku”

Tatewaku Shibori

Tatewaku in shibori and indigo on linen.

More often than not, I seem to return to traditional patterns. There’s much to be learned  there in the seeming simplicity.  There is also another aspect, the terminology – what it means, the stories behind the words.

Recently, because I was working on a small tatewaku patterned furoshiki I looked up the term in Yoshiko Wada’s Shibori where it is defined as “undulating lines.”

The kanji isn’t in the text,  so on a search using「たてわく] found「立枠」 in the context of kimono patterning ( illustrated).

Looking more closely, 「立て」(tate) means “to stand” or “rise” and 「枠」(waku) means “frame, framework, spindle, spool” and “bounding-box” (Jim Breen).  Mary Parker, in her book, Sashiko, says that it’s called “rising-steam” and that it dates back to at least to the Heian period. By the Edo (Tokugawa) period it was used as a framework for floral and circular patterns in textile work.

In other searches, other words and expressions rose to the surface:

のたり のたり(notari notari)- an expression meaning gently swelling and rolling.

はせん・波線 ・hasen is a wavy line.

なみがた(namigata) and はけい(hakei)波形 define as a wavy form or rippling shape.

Then “serpentine” came to mind (recalling the serpentine wall on Cincinnati’s riverfront) -

えんえん(en en) which refers to the feeling of meandering, winding, and zigzagging….

Finally, I encountered へびのよう「蛇の様」・hebi no you – like a snake.  This of course, has no relation to tatewaku, or does it?  It was fun to meander through those definitions.

I am also reminded that it is the Year of the Snake – 蛇年!

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4 Responses to ““Tatewaku””

  1. neki desu Says:

    isn’t tate also warp?

    • Susan Says:

      It definitely is, since you mentioned it, I looked it up. It’s a different kanji – here it is: 経糸・たていと) (weaving) warp.

  2. mon 紋 もん | Shibori Girl Says:

    [...] Susan over at ito de has been incorporating thoughts of kanji into her work.  lots of good posts over [...]

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