NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


伊勢崎銘仙 Isezaki-meisen Isezaki Ikat

Jp En

Sericulture had been actively practiced in Isesaki since the ancient times and it is said that the making of silk textile in this area started in the periods before Christ. However, it was not until the latter half of the 17th century that a production center for ikat, or popularly called “meisen,” became established. In the Edo period (1603-1868), closely-woven cloth was called “me-sen (a thousand eyes),” from which the word “meisen” was created.

When it came onto the market in Tokyo in the Meiji period (1868-1912), it gained the popularity and the name of Isezaki Meisen was known throughout Japan. Then in the Showa period (1926-1989), too, Isezaki Meisen industry reached its second peak. At the present time, although a burst of popularity has calmed down, several hundred craftsmen continue making this traditional textile.

Isezaki ikat is characterized by its dyeing techniques, which include “itajime-gasuri (board dyeing),” “kukuri-gasuri (tying the printed part before being dyed)” and “nasen dyeing (employing pattern paper and dyeing with brushes and spatulas).” After being dyed, the ikat threads are woven into a wide variety of patterns ranging from the very simple to those of a complex nature. In whichever case, Isezaki ikat all makes the best use of the qualities of silk. These handmade ikat cloths are loved by people even today because they are strong but reasonable in price.

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31-1 Kuruwa-cho, Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture 372-0055
Isesaki Orimono-Kogyo Kumiai

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