The y ūzen dyeing process

The y ūzen dyeing process





A design is drawn in full scale.

It is important to create a good design in both exhibition and wearing .



2 下絵 (sitae)

An underdrawing is sketched using dayflower extract.

In the preparatory stage preceding this process, a roll of a ramie cloth for one kimono is cut into lengths but eriokumi . Eriokumi is  eri  and  okumi . Eri  and  okumi  is part of a kimono.

These lengths are sewn together provisionally into the shape of a kimono for the purpose of sketching the underdrawing,The pattern is outlined , crossing the seam lines to ensure the overall continuity of the design when the kimono is eventually constructed . Then the thread, which is used for sewing these lengths together , is removed at the end of this process , the cut edges of these lengths are sewn together and the cloth rolled into its original bolt sothat the craftsman can work on it easily .




Itomenori , which literally means a threadlike paste , is applied . Fine-line resist paste is used to outline the pattern to prevent the spread of the dye . The threadlike line reserved in white is one of the characteristics of yuzen dyeing . The paste is made by mixing glutinous rice powder and rice bran and salt. The paste looks black for activated carbon has been mixed in to guarantee the clarity of the lines .




Gojiru is made by mixing soybean juice and funori (glue plant).

This mixture is applied on the cloth to promote adhesion of the resist paste which inturn prevents the dye from running.

In addition, this mixture is effective in the fixing of the dye.




The motifs are dyed . Four kinds of naturaldyes are mixed to dye a variety of colors. These naturaldyes are airou  (Tade indigo) and sumi (Japanese ink) and siou (Garcinia cambogia) and shu (Vermilion) . By the way, wataenji (Cochineal) is applied on a silk cloth todye instead of shu . To prevent the dye from spreading, the cloth is held over a hearth while the motifs are colored .



6 蒸し (musi)

Musi is steaming. By steaming the dyed cloth, the dyestuff settles into the cloth. The cloth is rolled with news papers to prevent it from touching. Thus , the cloth is steamed in a steamer to 100℃ for about 60 minutes .




The cloth is rinsed in water. After the steaming process, the cloth is rinsed in a bath filled with water. Resist paste and dye stains are removed with the use of a scrub brush.



8 伸子張り (sinsibari)

The cloth is dried. The cloth is smoothed by stretching tension using the tool that sinsi.

The length and width of the cloth are adjusted to remove any shrinkage caused by the steaming and rinsing processes.




The lengths are sewn into a kimono with special care taken to insure the continuity of the overall pattern where it crosses the seams.




Reference document:Maruyama,N.1993.Yuzen Dyeing ―Kyoto Shoin’s Art Library of Japanese Textiles Vol.5 .Kyoto:Kyoto syoin Co., Ltd.


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