Rubber Collection: Garments Made From Knitted Rubber Bands

Rie Sakamoto is a graduating art student from Japan’s Tama Art University. For her thesis exhibition, she decided to turn her eyes to the lowly rubber band, a stationary item overlooked in contemporary design, which values functionality and scarcity. Working entirely with rubber bands, which have limited functionality and are definitely not scarce, Sakamoto created a line of garments that were on display at an exhibition in Tokyo last week.

In her studies of the rubber band, Sakamoto, who is part of the department of Integrated Design, says she realized that the rubber band does in fact have more functionality than immediately meets the eye. In addition to its texture, flexibility and opacity, the rubber band is actually an aesthetically beautiful object. Sakamoto became acutely aware of this when she knitted several together and allowed the sunlight to shine through them.

Sakamoto’s “Rubber Collection” was on view last week in Tokyo as part of a group exhibition of graduating seniors. The exhibition has since ended but you can follow Rie Sakamoto on twitter.

Around this time of year we often feature some of our favorite student work from the thesis exhibitions of Japanese art universities. You can find all our previous posts here.


  1. Fascinating! Let’s ask students to begin designing clothing using plastic bags or products made of plastic…to limit our excess piles of plastic waste products in the environment.

    • Clothes should be functional though (as well as aesthetically pleasing, to ensure the garments long life span), and plastic as a material is not functional in clothing. First of all, it doesn’t breath. We should simply just reduce the consumption of plastic in general – everywhere.
      As for the rubber band clothes; interesting idea, but yet again – not very functional. It will frail, and you can’t fully recycle it either. I can’t imagine these being the most pleasant against the skin either. Cool idea as an artistic, ‘thinking outside of the box’-concept though.
      As a former student of Tama myself, I have noticed the university produces quirky art projects, but they don’t really pay attention to e.g. sustainability and proper research work. Graduation works are quite purely artworks, without the extensive academic research work to support them.

  2. Boing! Rather sweaty I should think…

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