Although the history of Isesaki Kasuri 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 Isesaki 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.
Due to the wide variety of ikat dyeing techniques performed by hand, even if they use the same pattern, the completed pattern can be subtly different depending on the craftsman who performed the dyeing and weaving of the threads.
How to make
A wide variety of ikat dyeing techniques are used for producing Isesaki Kasuri, including kukuri-kasuri knot-tying ikat, itajime-kasuri board pressed ikat or nassen impregnation dyeing, with sometimes two or more techniques being used for a single pattern. As there is constant innovation and experimentation in the methods of production, they continue to become ever more complicated.