Archive for August, 2008
These textile shop banners are common in Japan. Given how easy they are to install and how much more beautiful they are than typical signage, it seems strange that they haven’t been widely copied. They can easily be adapted for interior decor, too, not just exterior purposes. These two examples are from restaurants – the yellow one is in Matsumoto City and the blue is from a specialty eel restaurant in Tokyo’s Asakusa district. Their bottom corners are held down either with iron weights or simple hooks screwed into the sidewalk. The banners have the dual function of advertising the shop or restaurant as well as hiding bland areas of architecture or unsightly objects – here the blue fabric panel also serves to hide empty beer crates awaiting pickup. These could so easily be rigged up at home, for many purposes – as room dividers for interiors, or as space dividers outside for carports, patios or yards. Even plain or printed outdoor canvas would work, and the panels could just as easily be hung vertically – they don’t have to be pitched at an angle.
Somehow this manages to actually de-doilify doilies, which is almost achieving the impossible, and makes the fussy lace more reminiscent of bark or lichen or something from the bottom of the ocean. It’s another example of how re-purposing a thing can actually improve on the original. While checking on the correct spelling of doily/doilie (you can use either), I found out that doily was originally the name of a fabric, from Doiley, a 17th century London draper.