Saturday, April 30, 2016

Motifs: Zig-Zag

There are a number of motifs that can fall under this category, as there are many ways that simple lines can be turned and turned again to create interesting geometric patterns. As geometric motifs are appropriate for all seasons, this is yet another instance where color and other motifs present will determine just how appropriate it is for any given occasion.

My first example today is from a home-made obi using a mottled green cotton fabric originally manufactured for quilting. This particular zig-zag is called 'Hishi-sayagata' or 'diamond-shaped key pattern,' as the lines of the pattern are all on the bias, as opposed to being square to the warp and weft of the weave.

Close-up of hishi-sayagata obi. It was very difficult to get a clear photograph of this one.

The second zig-zag we have for today is called 'Matsukawa-bishi, or 'Pine Bark.' This example is actually the 'plain' side of a reversible han-haba obi. When I'm looking for obi, particularly han-haba as I have more occasion to wear them, I really like to find ones that are reversible. Not only does it double their chances of being worn, but the sides compliment each other so I can make knots that have more visual appeal.

Close up of matsukawa-bishi obi. Also very hard to photograph clearly!

Both of these examples are fairly plain making them good choices for coordinating with buisier motifs, but don't think that geometrics like this have to be uniformly plain.

Another hishi-sayagata, but as interpreted on a kimono.
The example above is another sample of the diamond key motif, but in this instance, the artist chose to fill in the space of the pattern with flowers. It makes for a very interesting and colorful arrangement, most suitable for late winter and early spring. With a pattern like this, I would look for obi that were of a relatively solid color or even larger floral-type design to counteract how much is going on in this fabric.

With this post, we come to the end of the A-to-Z blog challenge of 2016. To those of you who found this blog through the challenge, welcome, and I hope you continue to read as I work on ensuring a more regular posting schedule. For those of you who have been following for some time, thank you for your continued support!

On Monday, I plan to offer a reflection this experience before moving on to other topics that have had to wait so very patiently while I focused on getting through the month with a post a day. If you have any topics in particular you would like to see addressed here, please don't hesitate to make your suggestions in the comments!


  1. I have learned quite a bit from your posts and enjoy your writing style.
    There is a formal reflections linkup for the challenge but I am not sure what day it is.

  2. I'm so glad that you've gotten something out of this! Now that the challenge is over, I have a LOT of other post ideas in the works, including the one on thrifting I mentioned at the start of all this. I'll be sure to link to you when that one comes around, as your posts have been a delight to read this month and I don't really see that changing ;p