June 8, 2016

Tiffany Loy

I studied industrial design in Singapore, and was always interested in machines, the process of making things, and how things work. My interest in textiles began 3 years ago, when I started exploring the design of soft goods. I wanted to learn how to weave because I believe it’s the best way to understand textile as a material - to experience making it myself. As I searched for courses online, I kept in mind what I wanted to learn - not just the techniques related to weaving, but also to understand the design sensibilities in the field of textile design, in another part of the world. I liked the graduation works presented on KTS’s website, and was curious to learn more about the Japanese sense of aesthetics. It’s also a good chance for me to learn and practise a new language!

Beginners Course

In the 3 months I spent at KTS, it felt like I was developing a sort of relationship with the process of dyeing, yarn preparation, and weaving. A familiarity was built over time, and I began to understand how intuition can be developed, project after project. Different types of yarn behaved so differently, and the same colour could appear more interesting if the selection of yarn is appropriate. Going through the courses progressively, I was exposed to techniques of varying complexity, in a very organised and structured manner. In the last 3 weeks, I attempted my first coursework and created a large piece of tapestry under the guidance of 2 senseis. I enjoyed our discussions on yarn choice, weave structures and overall visual effects. Indeed there was a great sense of satisfaction at the end of it!

Precious friendships were fostered over the 3 months, with students and staff alike. Meal times were interesting, as I observed the cultural differences and try conversing in Japanese. The local students would show me their projects and sometimes we will discuss the challenging aspects of different techniques. Hanging out with them on the weekends, I always had such a great time exploring Kyoto and meeting other creative people in their exhibitions.

I have grown from my experience living in Kyoto and studying at KTS, both professionally (now that I have new skills to apply in my design career), and personally. Interactions with all the people I have met in these months have given me precious memories to keep.

from the KTS Graduate Exhibition, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art Annex, March 2016

Between Warp and Weft (left)
Though textiles are often viewed as a single surface, they are in fact many layers of material intertwined. This piece of tapestry exhibits the different layers of color and material within - the warp, the additional layer of color applied onto the warp and the weft. Appearing to be between the warp and weft yarn, the blue-green rhombus highlights the weave structure, and draws attention to the texture created by the weaving.

Behind the Screen (right)
This tapestry explores the idea of seeing the weft yarn as a layer of material over the warp yarn –perceiving the two as different layers, though they are intertwined. The blurred form painted on the warp yarn serves to suggest depth in the tapestry, further separating the viewer’s focus on the two different yarns.

Tiffany Loy (Singapore)


Tiffany studied in the Beginners Course, Foundation Kasuri Course and Applied Kasuri Course I to III in spring 2015.