Kyoto Black Dyeing
Although the dyeing of cloth black has a very long history dating back to the 10th century, it seems that it was not until the 17th century that it became established as a recognized craft to include family crests. In the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), binrouji-zome, using Indigo and other dyes to pre-dye the cloth, dominated the craft which became a great favorite with the warrior classes. Then at the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912), its application spread widely due to the fact that haori, the short black over kimono emblazoned with family crests on the back, came into more general use on formal occasions. Gradually, with the introduction of dyeing techniques learned from the British and research done on dyestuffs from France and Germany, the rather laborious binrouji-zome technique was dropped and the present-day vat dyeing techniques as well as two others, sandokuro and kuro-senryo, became firmly established.
Silk is used and in order to perfect the depth and subtle tone of the black, the cloth is pre-dyed with crimson or indigo, using chemical dyestuffs. Application of the family crest is either done by hand-painting or with a stencil. Material for ties and arm bands is being produced along side cloths for kimono and the traditional haori worn on formal occasions. The craft continues under the management of 266 firms with 1,612 employees, 79 of which are government recognized Master Craftsmen.
- Kyoto Black Dyeing Association
- 481 Toroyama-cho, Shijo-agaru, Nishinotoin-dori,
Website : http://www.kougei.or.jp/kyoto_monshou/