Yuzen-dyeing Kimono: technique

The Yuzen dyeing technique begins by outlining a drawn pattern on the Kimono fabric with a mixture of rice paste containing glutinous rice powder, rice bran and lime. The dried rice paste mixture, called a paste resist, provides a barrier  to prevent the brushed on dye from seeping into other parts of the fabric.   After the paste resist dries the fabric is painted with a brush using the desired dye colors. When the paint is dry, the fabric is smoothed with steam in order to adjust the length and width, and to remove the rice paste.

Photo Credit: galleryjapan.com

Photo Credit: galleryjapan.com

Developed at the end of the 17th century, this technique  of handcrafting Kimono patterns is still the most prestigious in Japanese textile culture. The process is very expensive.  In order to make Yuzen Kimonos more widely available, labor-saving costs were necessary. Today the techniques have been modified and developed to adapt to western technology in order to mass produce the Kimonos affordably. Yuzen-dyed Kimonos are the most popular in Japan.


Bizen ware

Bizen ware (備前焼 Bizen-yaki
Soil is rich with iron where rice grows. This produces organic matter that  creates a unique quality for primary ceramic materials. Niigata prefecture is known for the best short grain rice production area in Japan. They are also well known for one of traditional Japanese pottery style for hundreds of years. They have been using the iron rich soil for making the pottery called Bizen Yaki. Without glazing, Bizen Yaki has a red to dark brown color, a signature  organic pottery.

Dry rice straw is used in Japan to color or create  patterns on pottery. The rice straw is wrapped around the pieces leaving  red and brown marks  during the firing process. This technique is also used for dying material on pottery art in the Niigata prefecture region, Japan. Dry rice straw contains high amounts silica and oxalates, which create a unique texture.