Reiko Sudo’s Textile Revolution

This textile design company that calls upon the skills of traditional weavers and dyers is now being celebrated in a book of photographs.


WordsLéa-Trâm Berrod

Photograph by Masayuki Hayashi for © Nuno Corporation

Published in 2021, the book Nuno, Visionary Japanese Textiles showcases over 300 creations from the company Nuno (‘textiles’ in Japanese). Founded in 1984 by designers Junichi Arai and Reiko Sudo, it built up a reputation thanks to its traditional yet innovative techniques. ‘When we create our textiles, nature and tradition are woven with technology’, explains the brand’s official website. 

Reiko Sudo and Naomi Pollock’s book, divided into eight thematic chapters with onomatopoeic titles (Fuwa Fuwa, Kira Kira, Zawa Zawa…), offers an in-depth exploration of the physical sensations and emotions provoked by fabrics. To illustrate the texts—including essays by author Haruki Murakami and architect Toyo Ito—photographer Masayuki Hayashi gathered over 3200 images of 426 types of textiles over a three-year period. 


Silk, feathers and splattering

The Nuno studio, run by Reiko Sudo, continues to preserve ancestral techniques while also reviving old artisanal machines. The fabrics are ethical because they incorporate damaged pieces (cotton, silk, wool) and use recycled dye. 

Nuno’s products are known for their avant-garde nature. The designers employ industrial methods like splattering and chemical etching. Their designs are also the fruit of surprising combinations of varied materials: feathers, aluminium, handmade washi paper (Japanese paper), nylon ribbon, thermoplastics…

‘Since our start in 1984, Nuno has worked exclusively with weavers and dyers in Japan, combining old practices with new technologies to create textiles that are original, distinctive and fresh’, the website explains.

Today, over 2500 creations have been produced, with each one generally being the work of one artisan. Some are exhibited in the MoMA or at the V&A, and others have been used to create beautiful furniture and decorate public spaces or luxury hotels.


Nuno, Visionary Japanese Textiles (2021), a book by Reiko Sudo and Naomi Pollock published by Thames & Hudson.

Photograph by Masayuki Hayashi for © Nuno Corporation

© Thames & Hudson

© Thames & Hudson

© Thames & Hudson