While I helping my father, I began to understand and appreciate the depth and beauty of indigo blues,” Shimomura recalls. They are carefully sliced through, turned upside down and reshaped. Composting takes place in a building called a nedoko, or sleeping bed with a floor made of absorbent clay. The Indigo Dye Kit - Bringing ancient craft to contemporary fashion. The plants can grow about two and a half feet high. Japanese Indigo should not be confused with the famous Japanese knotweed. Ai-zome dyeing is a very complicated and long process. The chemical compound indican contained in the raw leaves is converted into indigo by fermenting the leaves. It can’t be helped considering the decreasing number of trained traditional craftsmen and the reduced availability of good quality natural raw materials [peak annual production of sukumo was hundreds of times higher than it is today]. The deep color, created by repeated dyeing, has long fascinated the Japanese. The fermented leaves of this plant are called sukumo 蒅, and Tokushima Prefecture is an important center of sukumo production. Discover the beauty of indigo dyeing Most of the farmers are in Tokushima on Shikoku, the smallest of this country’s four main islands. As a result, his parents almost decided to close the business but Shimomura decided he would continue. Osaka's 10 Most Beautiful Fall Foliage Spots 2020 - Enjoy The Views! Wild Fibres - natural fibres for felting, spinning & dyeing! There are five basic materials used in Japanese indigo dyeing: sukumo (the tade leaves of the Japanese indigo plant), fusuma (wheat bran), sake, hardwood ash, and lime. Wood ash for indigo dyeing is a very delicate material and must be stored carefully or it loses its power. A new born baby is full of energy while an old person has less energy but is full of depth and experience. Indeed, it is the blue which has made blue jeans so popular the world over. Indigo is exactly the same – a newly fermented indigo solution has strong energy but it can only be used for about 2 weeks and then it is finished. The Awa-Ai 阿波藍, made in Tokushima Prefecture, located in the Shikoku Region, is especially known for its vivid colors. Indigo blue or ai-iro in Japanese, long praised for its deep, rich color, dates back to the 10th century. Actually, when I was young I wasn’t even that attracted to indigo blues. 276 Onagase-cho, Ohara, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Interview with Toru Shimomura of Ai no Yakata, Mizuno Katsuhiko Machiya Photograph Gallery, Arrival at Kansai International Airport (KIX). Though the polygonum or tade plant grows all over Japan, Shikoku Island has long been the main production area in Japan. For a craftsman, Shimomura is still young but his passion for indigo dyeing is pure and intense. Following his passion and devotion to ai-zome, he works in his studio as well as showing off his products around Japan. One type of indigo dyeing is considered to be over 4,000 years old. These plants stayed much the same size for 2 months before finally starting to grow in August of 2016 These Japanese indigo plants show a typical growth pattern when planted on mass with the larger plants towards the middle and smaller plants at the edge. It is run by the Tokushima Prefectural Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry, and is located inside CHABARA, a commercial facility constructed under the elevated railroad tracks. Materials used to prepare the dye Some of their blues are so intense and deep that they appear to be black. In Japanese, indigo dyeing is known as ai-zome. About 200 years ago, the Awa region was one of the wealthiest areas in Japan, due largely to indigo production. Some greenhouse plants start to flower in late August but others only start to flower in early October.1. Have you heard of ai-zome 藍染め, the traditional Japanese indigo dye? Penny Kaela Bauer • info@traditionalkyoto.com, Much more to see at www.thegiftsproject.com, site by graysonwebdesign.com • RSS Feed • Log in. This indigo dye workshop and retail shop produces a wonderful range of hand-dyed indigo clothing items using techniques such as shibori (tie dyeing), sashiko embroidery (hand stitching), ikat and double ikat (resist dyeing and weaving). The turning process requires six hours and four workers. The unique Japanese method yields a color that is known as ”Japan Blue.” Kyoto is home to a few indigo craftsmen who continue to keep the Japan Blue dye tradition alive. Indigo is the legendary source of colourfast blues and its ability to produce a wide range of shades has made it the most successful dye plant ever known. Limited-Edition Design For Häagen-Dazs Green Tea. Telephone: +81-3-3258-0551 Indigo was probably introduced to Japan from southern China sometime soon after the fifth century.The oldest evidence of indigo dyeing in Japan dates back to the 10th century. Indigo blue or ai-iro in Japanese, long praised for its deep, rich color, dates back to the 10th century. In early October the dried leaves are ”put to sleep” for the winter. When the fermented indigo solution is ready the cloth is repeatedly soaked in the vat. 7 Japanese Phrases To Express Your Gratitude, Tokyo's Beautiful Fall Leaves - The Best 10 Spots To Visit In 2020. This family business, now in its third generation, started out as an obi sash weaving studio. For the darkest blues soaking lasts 30 minutes and is repeated 30 to 40 times. Their dye vats are in operation year-round and are kept at the right temperature with heaters placed directly in the vats. MATCHA Is Launching a New Service to Make Planning Your Trip to Japan Easy, Family-Friendly Parks In Tokyo! A therophyte of the buckwheat family named tade-ai (Chinese indigo) is used for the dye. Menus Available In: - Germination and growing instructions are clearly displayed on each package for successful gardening every time. The Aizen Kobo workshop lies a few blocks from the world-renowned Nishijin traditional weaving and textile district. Wild Colours natural dyes > blue dye plants > japanese indigo. In Japan polygonum or tade, is used in the natural indigo dye process. Access: One-minute walk towards the Ueno area from the Akihabara Station. His parents managed a shop selling a variety of indigo dyed goods. There is a shop in Tokyo that handles Awa-Ai, so you don't always have to go to Tokushima Prefecture to buy it. It has to be ground, pasted up, then most recipes call for reducing it chemically with Sodium Hydrosulfite or Lye (nasty stuff). ”Though I have helped out in my parent’s business since I was a university student, I never thought I would take it over let alone become an indigo dyer myself. Lime is usually added three times directly to the vat. Natural ai-zome craftsman in Ohara village. Go To Travel Campaign For Exploring Japan On A Budget, Superb Fall Colors And Hot Springs! The vat is buried in the ground to more easily keep the temperature stable.