September 19, 2011

Tyvek kimono

I have succeeded in creating a hitoe kimono out of DuPont Tyvek! It's almost finished...90% of it is done! It's really hard to photograph since it's white and all my walls in my studio are white, so I hung it up on the balcony and got most of it in the picture.

Soon I will have photos of it on the artist. In the next 2 weeks it will become the Ultimate Furisode, with 20-foot long sleeves! The artist that commissioned this is also working on some obi concepts, so we haven't worked that out yet. It's for a performance art piece that will be performed in LA in November. It will stay white and images will be projected onto it, just like the other costume pieces I made for this same artist.
As far as actually making it, Tyvek is interesting to work with. It cuts like a dream but doesn't tear, so it's like working with very unusual paper. It looks, sounds, and crinkles like paper but it's not. You can iron it....with a very low iron. It sews like fabric but doesn't not stretch at all, so making the collar was  a pain. I used a pattern and instructions I found online....which worked really well. The Tyvek I bought comes in a 36" wide x 50-yard roll, so there is plenty to play with and more than enough for the sleeves. I ended up making it a bit larger and longer than I thought we needed; the artist came over yesterday for a fitting and we decided it should be ankle length, like a yukata. It's easy to take it in and cut some off the bottom. There will be no ohashori since folding and keeping it flat and folded under an obi was an issue, so I just cut it to length. Who knows what the obi will be made from....maybe a found object or something sculptural.
More photos soon!

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