Although the history of Isezaki ikat dates back to ancient times, it was not until the latter half of the 17th century that a production center for these cloths became established. Also, from the middle of the 19th century right up until relatively recent times, these cloths were known throughout Japan as Isezaki-meisen. The ikat threads are either bundled and tied before dyeing, "board-dyed" in a technique called itajime, or printed before being dyed and woven up into a wide variety of patterns ranging from the very simple right up to those of a complex nature. In whichever case, these ikats all make the best use of the qualities of silk.
Being almost entirely made by hand and involving a number of different processes, no two cloths of the same pattern ever look the same simply because of the idiosyncrasies of the weaver. Made almost exclusively for kimono, there are now 54 firms employing 295 people among whom there are 28 government recognized Master Craftsmen keeping the traditions of this cloth alive.
- Isezaki Textile Association
- 31-9 Kuruwa-cho,
Isezaki, Gunma Prefecture
Website : http://www.kougei.or.jp/isesaki/