Kyo black dyeing with crests is black-dyed formal clothing with crests such as black kimonos for weddings and funerals. The cloth is dyed black with a brush in a technique called ‘three times-black’ and then, a crest is printed on it. It is a very traditional form of handicraft in Kyoto.
The history of black dyeing dates back to the 10th century, but it was at the beginning of the Edo period that the technique of black dyeing with crests was established. After the mid- Edo period, a form of dyeing known as binrouji dyeing, in which dyes are made with indigo, became popular, particularly amongst the samurais who cherished the black formal crested kimono. In the Meiji period, once the crested haori and hakama were designated as the national formal dress (haori is a short jacket and hakama are long pleated culotte-like trousers), kyo black dyeing with crests became more famous. After the Meiji period, techniques were adopted from England, France and Germany, and the less time-consuming technique of ‘black dyeing with brushes’ replace ‘binrouji dyeing’. This age-old technique is now applied to T-shirts and so on, not just formal dress; so many people appreciate it.