Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nishijin Fabric

The other day I had an opportunity to visit a museum and two factories where Nishijin fabric is woven.

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.

famous "Big Wave" by  Hokusai


  1. Wow! I cannot imagine the amount of work that must go into making these fabrics. They're really works of art!

  2. Hi Annie, when I see the beautiful colors, I can just imagine what can occur because of great songs, you must master it, it looks wonderful determined from ...

    have a nice weekend of Geli

  3. Very interesting. I think we have similar interests.

    Impressive 'painting!'

  4. They are quite amazing fabrics, Annie!

  5. Thank you for teaching me about this incredible fabric. I hope the craft keeps going for the sake of beauty.