What is Tsumugi?
Supreme slub-woven Kimono fabrics
uniquely developed across Japan
From ancient times, sericulture and silk weaving were self-sufficient household-based handicrafts for agricultural off seasons across Japan.
"紬 Tsumugi" yarns are made out of irregular-shaped rubbish cocoons, called “屑繭 Kuzumayu”, which is dessolved into silk floss and spun into Tsumugi yarns. Dyeing Tsumugi yarns with plants or flowers and then handloomed into a Tsumugi silk fabric.
Compared to the glittery luster of ordinary silk fabric, Tsumugi has the dimmer luster.
Naturally slubbed Tsumugi yarns are durable, but at the same time, having extremely tender floss silk texture. Tsumugi is worn by farmers, samurai and merchants at all social scales, representing the history of Kimono and Japanese clothing culture itself.
Although Japanese people wear Kimono less and less, the Kimono enthusiasts still wear Tsumugi for their luxury, but chic dailywear Kimono.
Tsumugi fabrics, as they are produced by traditional techniques, require a seasoned craftmanship and enormous time – weaving a bolt (38cm×1,280cm) sometimes takes over a year.
Now it is a huge concern that all local weaving regions are facing risk of losing their traditions because of the difficulty of having successors.
Still, we can take the supreme handcraft textile artworks in our hand, along with our thoughts going to their traditions, climates and craftsmanship…
Who we are
Holding the consistent stance as the Tsumugi specialty
Just after WWⅡ in 1946, Hirota Tsumugi was founded as a Kimono fabric wholesaler and constantly producing superior quality handcraft Tsumugi Kimono fabrics for over 75 years, based in Kyoto.
As a Kimono fabric wholesaler/supplier, we work together with a large number of the remote local weaving regions and artisans, and wholesale the fabrics to Kimono retail stores across Japan.
We have played a part in creating and preserving Tsumugi Kimono fashion and culture in Japan after the war period.
However, the situation is changing -- Japanese people wear Kimono less and less. Tsumugi traditions are facing a risk of dying out.
Some of weaving traditions have already disappeared. In the next 10 or 20 years, even the major traditions might be vanishing away, because of the aging of artisans and lack of successors.
We need to connect Tsumugi fabrics and traditions to the future.
In recent years, we have started to export Tsumugi fabrics outside of Japan for various uses, which include fashion, furniture and interior materials mostly in the US and European countries.
We believe in the beauty of Tsumugi fabrics, not only as a Kimono, which is as-yet-unknown.
While holding the consistent stance as the Tsumugi specialty, we would like to act as a bridge between overseas clients with Tsumugi fabrics and traditions.
The largest stock of Japanese handcrafted fabrics,
hearing custom design order as well
Our textile collection cover a huge range, representing the diversity of Japanese traditional Kimono fabrics itself.
Our materials include,
‐Tsumugi silk (Pongee silk), raw silk, silk crepe,
‐Bast-fibers fabrics including Shifu, Basho, Huji, Kudzu or Shina.
All natural materials traditionally woven and worn across Japan.
Most of them are yarn-dyed and Kauri (ikat) woven textiles, but also we produce a wide range of stencil-dyed fabrics, such as Katae-zome and Bingata. All are superior quality elaborately crafted Kimono fabrics.
Our traditional manufacturing partners and exclusively contracted artisans are scattered across Japan, from the sun-drenched islands of Okinawa to the heavy snowfall area of Nigata.
A roll of Kimono fabric is called “反物 Tanmono”, which is around 40cm wide×1280cm long fabric bolt. All fabrics from stock and ship worldwide.
Also, we can hear your request of custom order including design and size. Feel free to contact us for your ideal Japanese crafted fabrics.Products
The word “紬, Tsumugi” consists of “糸 yarn” and “由 draw out”, implying the primitive act of spinning a yarn by fingers directly pinching off from natural materials, such as cocoon’s floss silk or plants’ bast-fibers.
Before the modern time, it was fully self-sufficient in making their own clothes, through spinning, dyeing and weaving, by incorporating their surrounding natural privileges.
Not only in Japan, it used to be a common human practice. But today, textile products and clothing cultures have been rapidly standardizing across globe.
Traditional ethnic cultures and techniques are all tactic knowledge, handed down from person to person over generations, which will be almost impossible to restore if once disappeared.
Tsumugi was fortunate enough to survive until today thanks to the “Kimono” garment culture in which Japanese people believe in the value and beauty of craftmanship, and the diversity of the traditions in this nation.
We aim to deliver its value outside of Japan, so that to connect our traditions to the future.