manipuri Talkable scarves vol.1 The work of a designer who creates a variety of scarf patterns

Patterns, colors, and tailoring. The things that are made with extraordinary attention to detail have a story that makes you want to talk to someone. In this three-part series, "manipuri, a scarf that can be talked about," we will unravel the process of creating a luxury scarf that incorporates the craftsmanship and passion of the creator.

Step1_Collect image materials for the scarf

“manipuri” silk scarves are made by hand by designers and craftsmen in most processes, carefully and delicately. It's classic yet modern, and while it has a special feel to it, it gently snuggles up to your daily life. The core of the “manipuri” scarf, which shows such deep and rich expressions, is the wide variety of designs that produce 13 patterns in one season. 

“Once I set the season theme, I think about the visuals that will be applied to the scarf as a pattern. While looking for scenery and motifs related to travel, I was attracted to the town near the border where different cultures intersect.A romantic cityscape full of colors. We put it in the center of the image and weave in fantasy buildings and plants that match the atmosphere.” (manipuri designer Maki Nakayama)

At the same time as collecting visual materials, I also think about the composition within a single scarf. At the stage of collecting materials, there are cases where the final point of the scarf pattern is clearly envisioned, but by proceeding with the sketch first and combining multiple motifs, one piece that exceeds the designer's expectations is completed. I have.

Step2_Hand-drawn sketch that accurately expresses the image

Work to create a sketch that will be the base of the scarf pattern. Based on the materials I have collected and the images I have assembled in my head, I draw on paper with a mechanical pencil.

“When I was designing this scarf, I already had a general image of the finished product, with a rough touch and simple colors, after looking over the overall balance of the collection of 13 patterns. When drawing sketches, I think through the composition many times based on the materials, experiences, and memories I have collected, and add the essence of "manipuri." (Mr. Nakayama)

A draft with a delicate brushstroke that makes it hard to believe that it is drawn roughly. The amount of time it takes to draw a sketch varies from time to time, but in this case, it seems that the crests to be placed on the four corners of the scarf, that is, the four sketches, were drawn in one day.

“Among the European vintage scarves from the 40s to the 70s, there are those that have been directly copied from paintings by famous artists. I always work with a sense of pride and pressure that I must create paintings of a quality that is as good as those of the great masters.” (Mr. Nakayama)

Step3_Drawing with a pen while making corrections and additions to the sketch

Once the rough sketch is complete, use the pen to start drawing. Tracing paper is spread over the draft and the pen is inserted, but it is not the case that all the lines are traced as they are to make a clean copy.

“I correct the lines, add parts that weren’t drawn in the rough sketch, and draw while polishing. Once I have an idea, I think about what colors I should use to create a beautiful scarf. So, assuming the hand-printing process that comes after the design, I draw by color from the pen drawing stage.In this photo, I am drawing the part that will appear as a line drawing.”(Nakayama)

By drawing by hand instead of tracing on a computer, each line has a slightly different thickness and length. It is this time and effort that gives the “manipuri” scarf its deep flavor.

“When I make a rough sketch, even if I make a mistake, I can easily erase it with an eraser. In order not to stain other parts, I always put a small piece of tracing paper under my right hand when drawing.” (Mr. Nakayama)

Step4_Important coloring work that affects the impression of the scarf

Color selection is an important factor in design. Choose a pen according to your touch.

“I used a brush-type alcohol marker this time to give it a rough look. It’s easy to create a gradation because you can make the pen in and out just like the touch of a brush. It also dries quickly. Therefore, work can proceed smoothly.” (Mr. Nakayama)

Following the line drawing, I layered the tracing paper as many times as the number of plates, such as purple and light blue, and drew while separating the colors. It is also a must to mark the top, bottom, left and right so that the line does not shift.

“After coloring the four pictures in the same way as in the video, I import them into my computer and think about the layout. (Mr. Nakayama)

This is how the “La Ville” scarf was born, which expresses a fairy tale-like cityscape with rough touches and simple colors.

“I want the customer to feel attractive when they hold it in their hands. I do.” (Mr. Nakayama)

In vol.2, we will introduce the handiwork of Nassen dyeing craftsmen, which controls the vivid colors of scarves. Please look forward to it.

text by Ayako Takahashi
edited by SELEK

manipuri Talkable scarf vol.2
The skills of the textile printing craftsman who control the vivid colors of the scarf

manipuri Talkable scarf vol.3
Proof of a high-quality scarf, delicate and beautiful edge finish