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We stock a wide variety of the traditional handcraft textiles,
collected across the Japanese islands.
We, as a professional of folk craft textiles, guarantee the highest quality on each fabrics.

Yuki tsumugi

Yuki tsumugi is probably one of the most unique and luxurious silk weaving in the world. The texture is soft and light as if silk floss, and putting it on makes one exceptionally comfortable and luxurious feeling. The warps and wefts are all untwisted tsumugi yarns hand-spun from silk floss, and weaved by the back-strap loom (called ‘jibata’).

The techniques of hand-spun yarns, hand- tied kasuri and jibata loom, have been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Now, the Yuki tsumugi weaved by Jibata looms produce only several hundreds rolls annually.

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  • Scattered pattern ikat
    Scattered pattern ikat
  • Complicated tracery pattern
    Complicated tracery pattern
  • Men's Yuki tsumugi
    Men's Yuki tsumugi

Oshima tsumugi

Oshima tsumugi is known to be one of the world's three greatest textiles, along with Persian carpets and Gobelins tapestry. It is also domestically known as the highest grade silk textile along with Yuki tsumugi. Its features are the smooth and lustrous texture and the world’s most minute kasuri ikat. As the kasuri yarns are dyed by unique hand loom, called ‘shimebata’, it is said that “Oshima tsumugi is weaved in two times”.

Also, Oshima tsumugi is famous with the application of the diverse dyeing methods. The representative dyeing technique is natural mud- dyeing, which brings the fabric deep black color and unique moist texture.

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  • Tons of variety in the patterns
    Tons of variety in the patterns
  • The world's most minute ikat
    The world's most minute ikat
  • Men's Oshima tsumugi, hexagonal patterns
    Men's Oshima tsumugi, hexagonal patterns

Echigo-jofu / Ojiya-chijimi

Echigo-jofu and Ojiya-chijimi are ramie textiles designated by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage and becoming almost phantom textiles that were produced only 3 rolls of Ojiya-chijimi and 30 rolls of Echigo-jofu last years. These are weaved in the north-western part of Japan’s main island, an area of heavy snowfall in winter. The reason of Echigo-jofu and Ojiya-chijimi’s rarity is its extraordinary meticulous and arduous year-round hand work. Ramie fibers are split from the plant by fingernail and twisted into threads by hand.

After weaved by Jibata (the back- strap loom), finally the fabric is placed on the snow-covered fields to be lightened by the sun. Ojiya-chijimi goes through the same process, but the yarns have extra twists that make the surface wavy grains.

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  • UNESCO intangible cultural heritage
    UNESCO intangible cultural heritage
  • Cross-shaped kasuri pattern
    Cross-shaped kasuri pattern
  • Straiped pattern
    Straiped pattern

Cotton textiles

Cotton fabric is easy to handle with and can be used as casual kimono wear, so that cotton kimonos are very popular even today. However, almost all of cotton fabrics found in the today’s market are chemical-dyed fabrics that are mass-produced by power looms. Even in such situation, there are still a few of traditional cotton textiles that are weaved by the techniques from the old days.

The kasuri patterns and textures of these traditional cotton textiles are irreproducible by the power loom or chemical materials, and have the beauties of craftsmanship and handmade warmth.

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  • Iyo kasuri
    Iyo kasuri
  • Yumihama kasuri
    Yumihama kasuri
  • Satsuma Kasuri, using Egyptian cotton
    Satsuma Kasuri, using Egyptian cotton

Okinawa Textiles

Okinawa, the small south islands farthest down of Japanese islands, has the diverse traditional textiles that are clearly different from the textiles from Japan’s main land. Okinawa had been an independent kingdom of the Ryuku dynasty, and during its 450 years of trading with Asian countries, diverse foreign cultures and techniques had came in and the unique weaving culture had ripened in Okinawa. The reason why within such small islands many weavings coexisted and developed uniquely at the same time is because the Ryuku dynasty had the strict dress regulation and protected each techniques of weavings.

The unique authentic sense of Ryukyu cultures and its tropical climate of Okinawa islands have brought forth many gems of textiles. The Okinawa islands could be said the treasure house of weavings.

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  • Ryukyu bingata
    Ryukyu bingata
  • Ryukyu kasuri
    Ryukyu kasuri
  • Hana ori fabric
    Hana ori fabric

Bast-fiber fabrics of Japan

Bast-fiber fabrics are the oldest category of Japanese textiles. Many of them are found from the prehistoric remains across the Japanese archipelago.

Fuji-nuno(wisteria fabric), Kudzu-fu(Kudzu fabric), Shina-nuno(Japanese-linden fabric), Shi- fu(washi fabric), Kaji-fu(kozo fabric), Taima-fu(hemp fabric), or Basho-fu(banana fiber fabric).... Making of these fabrics starts from peeling hard berks from trees and all of processes to complete a fabric requires enormous time and hand labor.

Although much of these textiles had disappeared rapidly along with the introduction of silk and cotton historically, still, its idyllic looks and the textures, which evoke the beauties of nature, have been passed down in various forms until today’s Japan.

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  • Shina-nuno
    Shina-nuno
  • Kudzu-fu
    Kudzu-fu
  • Basho-fu
    Basho-fu

Other traditional fabrics of Japan

There are too many other attractive fabrics of Japan to be explained. From the heavy snowfall areas to the sun-drenched south islands, long and thin Japanese islands have diverse geographical features where nurtured weaving and dyeing traditions depending on the regions.

Many of traditional craft weavings have survived in remote ares or isolate islands, and developed uniquely in their long histories. Let us introduce rich and diverse textile cultures.

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  • Oitama twill weavings
    Oitama twill weavings
  • Hemp striped fabrics
    Hemp striped fabrics
  • Stencil dyeing
    Stencil dyeing
  • Kihachijyo
    Kihachijyo
  • Crafted obi
    Crafted obi
  • Chintz
    Chintz

Characteristics of Japan's textile folk arts

  • Materials: Tsumugi yarn

    Materials: Tsumugi yarn

    Silkworm cocoons are opened and stretched for making silk floss, which is then spun by hand into yarns. Air-contained tsumugi yarns make the fabric have the unique feel — a floaty light and warm texture. With the small bumps on the textile surface, the textile weaved by tsumugi yarns has the dimmer luster, compared to the glittery luster of raw silk textile.

    Also, not only silk, various plant fibers such as cotton and hemp are used depending on the regions.

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  • Dyeing: Kasuri

    Dyeing: Kasuri

    While traditions of ikat are seen in various regions in the world, these may not be so diverse and sophisticated as kasuri (ikat in Japanese words) techniques that have been developed in the Japanese islands. Various centuries-old kasuri techniques are continued until today in different parts of Japan, from the tasteful folk art patterns, to the world’s most minute patterns.

    The dyeing made of natural dyes are different from vivid and colorful chemical dyes, and can express the subtle and tranquil colors —colors gifted from nature.

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  • Weaving: hand loom

    Weaving: hand loom

    Traditional textiles are weaved by hand looms. Throwing a shuttle vertically between the two layers of tensioned warp yarns, lifting the reed down along with the weft yarn so that weaving moves on. It is said that the personality of the weaver influences the texture of the textile.

    Its tastefulness cannot be expressed by the fabrics weaved by power looms, and complicated kasuri patterns or delicate hand-spun yarns cannot be weaved without traditional hand loom.

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