Since ancient times, Chibana Hanaori has been woven in the former Misato-son (currently the Chibana, Noborikawa, and Ikehara regions of Okinawa City).
It is one type of figured textile made using the tateuki hanaori method of embossing designs vertically, and this technique was already established during the later half of the 19th century. It has been used in festival garments such as the ucchaki vest, tisaji cloth, dujin undershirt, kimono, and more, from the Meiji period to the present day. Okinawa suffered devastating damage during World War 2, but Chibana Hanaori clothing continues to be used today in a traditional ceremony called the Usudeku in prayers for an abundant harvest and sound health.
The characteristic of this fabric is the patterns made by warp threads floating on the surface.
How to make
There are two methods, the sokobana method which uses a flower heddle, and the tibana method which does not use a flower heddle, and the designs are produced by picking up the threads by hand.
1) The sokobana method uses a heddle to lift up the threads in order along with a pattern in order to create the motif where the weft threads float on the surface of a double-weight cloth. On the surface of the fabric, the warp threads used for the design float to the surface, and the unused warp threads can be seen in long strands on the back side of the fabric.
2) With the tibana method, the warp threads used to form the patterns are picked up by hand, and this style is also called embroidery weaving. The patterns on the surface can follow the warp or the weft, and the back side of the fabric is different than the sokobana style as there are no long threads that haven’t been used in the patterns.