It seems likely that Echigo crepe ikat techniques became established during the first half of the 18th century. However, it was not until the latter part of the 19th century that they were used for weaving a silk cloth, after a warp ikat had been successfully perfected. Remarkable advances in ikat techniques were made at the beginning of the Meiji period (1868-1912) and tsuki-kasuri was also perfected about this time. Oiled paper, ramie yarn or bamboo grass were used to tie the threads in the early days but in the Taisho period (1912-1926), cotton thread or flat rubber came into use.
Tokamachi ikat has both a traditional beauty and a contemporary sensibility. Many people love this fabric because of its luster and wonderful texture. It is widely used for smart everyday kimono worn at home or on special occasions. Today, 27 firms sustain this craft employing 1,130 staff, among whom 36 are government recognized Master Craftsmen.
- Tokamachi Textile Industrial Associatio
- 8, akashi-cho
Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture