A collaborative project between architect Kosaku Matsumoto and Japan Braid Hat Mfg. Co., ltd.
Japan Braid Hat is known for making blade hats (or Sanada hat) woven with fabric tape and natural grass straw in a swirl-like pattern. Unlike hats made by sewing, they are woven seamlessly together and completely jointless. The hat has an elegant simplicity of shape and form that made feasible to increase the hat’s scale to the limit. How big can a hat really be?
The outcome of this experiment was a hat five times larger than the standard, stretching the technical limit of the craftsman, and extending the very definition of we can see as a hat. It has been expanded so much that the brim cannot bear its own weight, draping toward the ground to cascade and wrap the whole body of who wears it. Like a coat, a veil, or a small, sculptural tent, the hat gives various fluid impressions according to the way it is worn.
By challenging the very definition and the limitation of a hat, the work attempts to discover a scale of new functions and design possibilities in what we understand as a blade hat.
Photo by Nobutada OMOTE.