Kansas City Fiber Artist Yulie Urano Shows Off Her Sketchbook

For fiber artist Yulie Urano, yarn is both a medium and a metaphor.

She supplies her own material by spinning yarn into absurdly thick strands. She uses her fingers to weave the homemade rope into dense, flowing sculptures.

The metaphor stems from Urano’s heritage: She’s a first-generation Japanese-American. The interplay between strands and textures in her art help her explore the interaction of cultural traditions in her own life.

“By pushing the possible relationships between form, material, and textile processes, I create work that allows me to explore my ideas about self-identity, ” Urano explains in her artist’s statement.

Peruse Urano’s sketchbook and you will see how her ideas come to life in her finished work. She shares with us a few of her drawings, finished pieces, as well as her favorite designers in Missouri.

Urano typically does not make one preliminary sketch per garment, but usually does a series of mini sketches and then work off of that. Here are a few pages from her sketchbook that she used as inspiration during the time she was creating the knit work shown.

Yulie Urano’s favorite favorite local Missouri designers are:

Peggy Noland 

“I love Peggy’s work because it is fun, loud, and exciting. When you wear her clothes it is impossible to not feel like you are becoming an invincibly weird and amazing superhero.”


“Hadley’s clothes have an understated simplicity that reminds me much of Scandinavian designs that I love. Her monochromatic statements are so sophisticated and keep me wanting all of her pieces. “

Christina Asako Dougherty 

“Christina isn’t based in Kansas City anymore, but I felt she was someone I should mention because her work has always been an inspiration to me since I started making wearables. What most draws me to her work is her ability to beautifully incorporate so many layers of personal history in her pieces.”

Yulie Urano
Kansas City, Mo.