Dyeing & Weaving

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Dye (p. 61 )

1. Produced in Takefu City, Fukui Prefecture.

2. Characteristics: The fabrics are dyed in such way as copying the amorphous designs formed by Chinese ink floating on water surface, loved as elegant taste for designs, which cannot be reproduced. The technique メSuminagashi" or marbling is also used for paper dyeing in which " Torinoko Gami", the best quality hand made paper produced in this district, are used. The marbling is applied to such silk fabrics as "Hitokoshi crepe,"Shiose"and" Habutae". The Suminagashi designs are a combination of 4 kinds of ink flow: natural, horizontal, vertical and whirlpool.

3. Uses: Clothing, lining cloths, neckties. The Suminagashi papers are used for wall paper and mounting paper.

4. History: Chinese ink was imported by Doncho, a Korean monk in 610 and brush pens were imported in the reign of Empress Suiko (592-628.) The Suminagashi was a playful recreation among court nobilities. "Suminagashi" in this district began in 1151 when a man named Jizaemon of Nara Prefecture received an oracle on a secret technique on how to produce high quality handmade paper marbled with crimson, indigo and black. He travelled all through this country looking for ideal water, best and appropriate for the production. He found the best water in Takeo and settled there. Since then, the technique has been transmitted to his decendents as a secret art. The present artisan is the 55th decendent. "Suminagashi" was originally a method of dyeing handmade paper and feudal lords protected it until the Meiji Restoration (1868) when its application on fabrics began.

Dyeing Method

Chinese ink produced in Nara Prefecture, indigo and " Benibanaモ ( safflower, Carthamus tinctorius) produced in Mogami (Yamagata Prefecture ) are used as dyes. The liquid dye is dropped onto the water from the tip of a brush pen to form ripples which are copied to papers or cloths. 3 different brush pens are used at1 time when 3 colors are copied.