During the Kamakura period (1185-1333), merchants from Hakata journeyed to Sung dynasty China with the founder of Joten-ji temple, Shoichi Kokushi, and the weaving techniques they brought back with them laid the foundations of Hakata Ori.
During the Edo period (1600-1868), most of the area of present-day Fukuoka Prefecture corresponded to the province of Chikuzen. The feudal lord of this province, Kuroda Nagamasa sent tributes (kenjo) of Hakata textiles to the Shogunate and this led to the cloth also being called Kenjo Hakata.
The types of cloth most representative of all those from Hakata are the lustrous plain woven cloths with their elegant designs, and the very colorful, elaborately woven figured textiles. Part of the joy of the Hakata obi is the ease with which they can be tied and the characteristic silk squeak when they are pulled up tight. It still produce the traditional obi as well as ties, dress material and even interior fabrics.
Hiraori, represented by Kenjo-Hakata, shows a fascinating brilliance while Mon-ori shows a delicate and dense pattern with magnificent color. Hakata obi (sash) is easier to wear and makes unique pleasant sound on tightening.
How to make
The fibers are dyed beforehand, and woven by either hand or machine. According to a pattern which is designed beforehand, warp thread is drawn into the heald and passed through into the reed. Then the warp thread and the weft thread is woven to create Hakata Ori.