Kagayuzen

Kaga-Yuzen was born when Yuzensai Miyazaki, Printer and dyer, perfected the Edo period, about 300 years ago. The Yuzen process enabled Master Yuzensai and other dyers under the patronage of the fudal of the Kaga district to create beautiful, clear intricate patterns on silk cloth. The Kaga-Zome dyeing method began about 500 years ago using astngency persimmous and the bark of plum trees to create colors ranging from pink to red black. And the basis of today's Kaga-Yuzen was formed when patterns were developed centering around Japanese family crests.

Kaga-Yuzen is recognized by the method of shading from the outside to the inside of the patterns and the use of five basic colors, indigo,crimson, chrome yellow, dark green, and royal purple. The designs of Kaga-Yuzen depict natural beauty. Flowers, birds, and landscapes are drawn in minute detail with a special paste which prevents the colors from running together. The elaborate designs create handiwork which is gorgeous and graceful. Handmade Kaga-Yuzen is not available in large quantities because of the painstaking planning by each master and the time-consuming work to create a finished piece. Thus, it is not surprising that handmade Kaga-Yuzen is highly appreciated for its artistic value in design and workmanship. Look to Kaga-Yuzen for excellence!

THE WHOLE PROCESS  OF  HAND-DYEING

  • (1) The original design is drawn on the an artist. Designs are usually of natural objects.

  • (2) White silk cloth is sewn into a kimono.

  • (3) The drawing on the paper is copied onto the cloth. Both the paper and the cloth are placed on a glass surface withlight coming from below. The ink is washable ; it is made from a herb.

  • (4) The sewed kimono with drawings is separated into several different parts. The cloth is put on the  bamboo support and the artisan traces drawn lines with rice paste from a cone. The lines thus become 'dye-proof' or a kind of dike which keeps different colors fromgetting mixed. After the paste is washed away later (process 10) lines remain white. Soybeans are soft in water and smashed. This is thinned with water. The cloth is soaked with this water and dyed over a charcoal fire. This soybean process is done to make the rice paste stay firmly on the cloth.

  • (5) The comes dyeing. Several  kinds of brushes are used. Shading off of colors and worm-eaten leaves in the painting are typical of Kaga-Yuzen, which make the picture look more natural.

  • (6) The cloth is steamed for 20 minutes to make the colors fast.

  • (7) The dyed parts of the cloth are coated with rice paste. This will protect these parts in the next process. Soybean water is sprinkled over the cloth to make the next process easier.

  • (8) Each piece of cloth is sewed onto a long strip. With a brush of deer fur containing ample dye, the artisan  brush  the  whole cloth, dyeing the remaining background.   Because of process 7 the parts already dyed remain intact.

  • (9) The cloth is steamed for 30�\50 minutes with a temperature of 90�\100 degrees centigrade. This will settle the and make them brighter.

  • (10) The comes the most famous part of people used to see pretty dyed long strips of cloth streaming  clear river. This was to wash the paste and unnecessary dyes on the cloth.

     

    Now the river are not as clean as they used to be , so in a factory we have a basin with underground water powered  electrically. The temperature of this water remains the same (about 14 degrees) all the year round and this is the ideal temperature for cloth washing. Now the anti-pollution movement has made rivers cleaner, so sometimes early in the morning you may be able to see it. Quite a picturesque scene.

  • (11)The cloth is steamed for adjustment, just like steam-ironing.

  • (12) If requested , gold and silver embroidery is made and family crests are dyed on the left-over parts. The whole process takes about two or three month. 1 tan is 12 meters long and is for one kimono.