Nishiyama is a silk company nestled beneath the Japanese Alps in the village of Ushikubi, and according to local legend, silk production has been rife in the region for 800 years, ever since members of the Genji Clan escaped to the village and taught locals the secrets of silkworms. The story seems more authentic than just being an old yarn: judging by the wooden looms and fairy-tale-like spinning wheels, the company’s weaving techniques are steeped in tradition.
Haute couture houses in Paris and Milan are listed in Nishiyama’s client books, and they’ve probably been attracted by the striking combination of an old art form and the fresh, modern patterns of the fabric. And as a beautiful company needs a beautiful website, Nishiyama’s online presence is just as simple and stylish as their silk. The site is made up of lots of blobby, silky, pebble-like shapes, and all the text is set out like a little poem. There’s even an interactive section dedicated entirely to the silk weaving process, made up of snippets of footage of spinning wheels and chunky wooden machinery weaving up and down.
Scrolling through the sections, you track the transformation of cotton ball cocoons into sleek rolls of dip-dyed silk. Living in the village of Ushikubi 800 years ago, you would have known exactly where your silk came from, and exactly how it came into being. It’s fantastic to see the Nishiyama company transform this old-fashioned and villagey mind-set into something so widely accessible, and which is executed in such a strikingly modern way.
- The sun's shining, the weather is sweet: here's the Best of the Web
- Great new film series profiling the individuals challenging the macho stereotypes of rugby
- Tom Cockram's photographs of Brazil’s street culture in the lead up to last year’s World Cup
- Clever, well-observed editorial illustrations from Toronto-based Peter Thomas Ryan
- Creative producer Luella Lane tells us about her amazing 80s sticker collection
- Utopia-focussed design work from studio Public School
- New Channel 4 identity by creative dream team of 4Creative, Jonathan Glazer, Neville Brody and DBLG
- Pentagram Partner Michael Bierut shares his wisdom on what makes a truly great logo design
- A new stop-motion Honda advert took four months, dozens of illustrators and thousands of drawings
- Phwoar! Typophiles, swoon over this cornucopia of contemporary typography
- “What’s your style? I don’t fucking know. You tell me mate”: A no nonsense look at the work of Barber Osgerby
- Photographing the choreography and chaos of the England cheerleading team