Saturday, 23 April 2011

Kimono - Yuzen dyeing process

This video link was posted on the excellent Immortal Geisha forums. If you want to know how kimono like the ones below are dyed, this is a great 'start to finish' overview of the rice paste resist yuzen process.

Completed furisode, tailored to fit (note the curve on the edge of the sleeves) -

The karinui (tacked kimono fabric), which is how the kimono arrives at the kimono shop. If you look closely, you can see it is only tacked and the sleeve edges aren't sewn to shape.

A detail from the karinui, showing how the pattern goes across the seams. This design features all the techniques shown in the video, including the shading effects, one of the most subtle features of yuzen.

BTW, these are furisode and karinui from my collection - I found the same design twice, tailored and only tacked. They are not the same pieces of fabric! I displayed them both together at my first kimono exhibition, in January 2008.

Contemporary yuzen is much bolder than old pieces, which feature more delicate dyeing, often with finer resist line detail or additional drawing over the dyed design.

Taisho era uchikake fabric, 1920s (left) - for a wedding kimono. The one on the right is also a wedding kimono, probably made in the 1930s. Both have family crests across the shoulders (look for the three white 'dots') and extra embroidered details. Kinkoma, couched gold or silver cords, is often added to accent yuzen dyeing.

Taisho era yuzen dyed obi fabric.

1930s nagoya obi.

1930s furisode.

Contemporary furisode.

Of course, the idea is to line up the patterns when the kimono is sewn! :-)

Some design papers for yuzen dyeing, showing how the design is registered across the seams.

Yuzen designs are endlessly fascinating!

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