textile artist ● costume designer
“Since I have been sewing for many years, thread to me has always been the element which connects the individual parts. Thread symbolizes connections. Even if the thread is not used to put separate parts physically together, it helps me connect myself to nature’s fragility and resilience.”
Now a resident of Nashville, TN, Rima Day grew up in Tokyo, Japan. After studying fashion design at Kuwasawa Design School, she moved to New York City to further her studies at Parsons School of Design. After working for years as a costumer for theater and ballet, she began experimenting with creating elaborate period Rococco-style dresses out of recycled blue jeans. These true works of art were exhibited widely and she began to pivot her work in textiles towards the creation of art.
She began embroidering red thread in the shape of intricate vessels and root systems onto white muslin objects, old photographs, and crafted books – which became her backdrop or canvas.
This technique was inspired by the Japanese Senninbari custom which translates to “one thousand people’s stitch.” The tradition involves women making red threaded knots on a piece of clothing of a male relative who is going off to war. Rima says “I was very taken by the notion of how making knots becomes a wish for someone’s well-being.”
“Perhaps, the hanging threads in my work are my attempt to establish a connection with the world.“
Links for Further Exploration
- Artist website
- Artist instagram
- Colossal article (2023): Using Red Thread, Rima Day Intertwines History, Nature, and Human Experience in Striking Embroideries
- Colossal article (2021): Knotted Systems of Red Thread Dangle from Fabric Books and Letters by Rima Day
- Mr XStitch Interview with Rima Day
- Denim projct with Levis for AAPI Heritage Month (2023)
Invitation to Creativity
Connecting the threads….
Threads that connect….
As knitters or crocheters, we know all about the importance of connections. Of connecting stitches, one to the other, to build a strong, comforting fabric. We need connections. And people need to feel and be connected to one another.
We’ve included some postcards in your Creativity box. Not everyone still uses snailmail these days, but few people don’t enjoy receiving a spontaneous “hello.” A postcard only needs a word or two, but you can include a collage or drawing with a quote or message that conveys Connection. Save a few blank postcards for a later project (or make more out of cardstock).