Shikada, a Japanese company in the Yame region, Fukuoka, boasts a centuries-old tradition, since 1912, in the production of handcrafted bamboo fabrics and curtains. This allowed it to revisit the bamboo separé (screen): the new range of products was designed to adapt to modern environments. The production is inspired by Shitsurai, the art of organizing spaces for noble guests using materials capable of recreating a natural atmosphere. Its flagship product, Sudare, was designed to characterize and delimit the internal and external openness of the rooms. Traditionally, it is made from stems cut into sticks and tied by hand on a frame. It is a device that blends with the art of Kekkai, which brings together the notions of delimitation and unity of physical space: a form of courtesy confinement, observed with precision and attention. Translucent, the weaving thus divides the contiguous spaces without really disuniting them.
There are three product ranges marketed by Shikada: the first two are available as a finished product Manyo (handmade) and Shikisai (machined), while the last is a Shikada Woven® fabric (which is supplied in rolls and therefore cut).
Its processing takes a very long time following the art of millenary “know-how”. The Manyo range is available in nine delicate textures created with the fushi-zoroé technique. It consists in maintaining the knots of the bamboo by exploiting the irregularity of the plant to create relief motifs. With a minimum diameter of 1.4 x 1.7 mm and a maximum of 5mm, the result obtained is excellent from an aesthetic point of view. The rods, with a round or oval profile, are inserted one by one into the loom manually, the procedure allows to make a subtle shift as the assembly is measured, before the final phase of weaving.
The product is available in single or double roller blinds and roller blinds or Roman blinds. Its manufacture on an industrial machine is faster and less constrained in terms of size. During processing, the knots of the bamboo are eliminated, and therefore its profile is round. There are various textures with different references, including variations in the shape of the slats, in the hue, in the chain stitch and in the color of the thread.
It is available in roll or cut to size (every cm) and is suitable for customized creations. The maximum length is 40m, the width is 2.40m. Shikada Woven® can be arched using brackets and velcro to form vertical curves to delimit the visual space of the environments in which it is placed. A product appreciated by architects, for example Kengo Kuma used it in the project for a new Japanese restaurant in the city of Portland. The double-height room is delicately divided by Shikada Woven®: delicate and slightly transparent screens, capable of filtering natural light. Shikada Woven® can also be suspended from the ceiling thanks to accessories and bars. It forms horizontal waves that dress up, like bed skies.
Sweating can be twisted horizontally to form twists. This organic fabric, little known in Europe, has recently obtained an M1 classification certificate for fire resistance (Shikisai 507) and Euroclass B-s2 d0 (Shikisai 501, 507 and 509). It is presented for the first time in Italy at A@W Milano in November 2021, after Maison & Objet in Paris last January 2020. The Shikada brand is determined to target the western market, adjusting its production and marketing tools accordingly.
More information here, where all the details for the creation of custom-made products are available.