Nishijin fabric is a gorgeous, silk fabric and brocade produced in Nishijin district of Kyoto(not far from the Golden Pavilion). It has a long history of more than 1000 years to meet the demand of the Imperial court and aristocracy.
Nishijin fabric is most concisely characterized as diagonally woven and patterned fabrics made from died yarn so as to come out much richer colors. Its production involves many complex processes and they can be divided into five major areas: planning and making Mon (design sheet which guides the design structure to the loom during weaving), preparation of materials (including dyeing thread), preparation of looms, weaving, and finishing. Each of these processes is carried out by specialists working in a production network based on the division of labor.
The high-class quality of Nishijin fabric is compared with Lyon silk from France and Milan silk from Italy. Today it is used for not only for kimono and obi sash, but also for tie, handbag, shawl and many others.
I was able to hear the story of several people in the different processes. And I understand their craftsmanship has been in a family for generations, but today young people wouldn't succeed any more because of its hard work. So they all are concerned about the industry future. Worrisome prospect.
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