November 10, 2020

About the School: Internationality 2

-The diverse relationships with weaving-

This is the Internationality segment of the series introducing Kawashima Textile School (KTS). From the very beginning, the school has welcomed people from all over the world who wish to study handweaving. In the 14 years up to 2019 alone, Kawashima Textile School has welcomed over 140 students from 28 countries. Part 2 is about the course of internationalization in recent years.

Binding thread for weft kasuri

In the past, the school had responded to requests from overseas individually, according to when and what students wanted to learn, but with the increase in inquiries, created the "International Students Course" taught in English, in 2009. The contents were the "Beginners" course in which students learn the basics of weaving, and the foundation and applied "Kasuri (ikat)" courses. The ikat technique itself can be found all around the world, as there is a wide variety of ikat, each unique to its region, but these courses were in response to the requests from overseas students who wanted to learn Japanese ikat. Until then, the school had called it by its universally known name, "ikat," but after the courses were set up, the Japanese term "kasuri" was established.

As the courses began to be held regularly every spring and autumn, reputation by former students gradually spread, and since around 2013, the number of applicants have been increasing year by year, and has continued to exceed the capacity each time. Students range from beginners, those who weave as a hobby, university or graduate students, to those who work in textiles such as artists or designers. Through these students who gather from all over the world with the common purpose of handweaving, we can see that they all have a relationship with weaving that suits each of their lives. Looking at textiles from a global perspective shows us different possibilities of how to be involved with weaving, and broadens our options, since there is a variety of individual lifestyles, and social and cultural backgrounds.The internationality of KTS is not only about the difference in countries and cultures, but also the diverse relationships with weaving. That is a world that can be seen precisely because it is a school that specializes in handweaving.

About the School: Internationality Series 1