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“The Art of Japanese Dyeing Patterns” is a small catalog of sorts on tenugui (dyed Japanese cotton towel) maker Kamawanu, and where the book excels is in its photography.

Beautiful photos of Kawamanu’s workshops, stores and towels fill the pages, with close-up images capturing the texture of the cotton in amazing detail.

The book reveals Kamawanu’s use of the ancient chusen hand-dyeing technique, which requires extreme finesse, and one chapter also details the significance of a variety of traditional patterns.

Only some of the Japanese text has been translated into English, but the real joy here is the photos.

Although it’s a small volume, ultimately this is a coffee-table book, pure and simple.

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