Yuzen dyeing

‘Silk-weaving families can be traced to the 15th century in the famous Nishijin weaving center of Kyoto, where elegant fabrics worn by the emperor and the aristocracy were produced. In the 17th century, designs on textiles were applied using stencils and rice paste, in the yuzen or paste-resist method of dyeing. The yuzen method provided an imitation of aristocratic brocades, which were forbidden to commoners by sumptuary laws’.


Moriguchi Kako of Kyoto has continued to create works of art in his yuzen-dyed kimonos, which were so sought after that the contemporary fashion industry designed an industrial method to copy them for use on Western-style clothing. Famous designers, such as Hanae Mori, borrowed extensively from kimono patterns for their couturier collections. By the late 1980s, an elegant, handwoven, dyed kimono had become extremely costly, running to US$25,000 for a formal garment. In Okinawathe famous yuzen-dyeing method was especially effective where it was produced in the bingata stencil-dyeing techniques, which produced exquisitely colored, striking designs as artistic national treasures” (From wikipedia)

 Yuzen dying is used to print the beautiful designs onto kimonos. It was created by Miyazaki Yuzen-sai in the middle of the Edo era (around 1700).

Here is a video of Japanese Traditional Craft Culture “Kimono, Yuzen Printing” from Doshisha MBA.

Here is a video showing you the whole process of Yuzen dying

‘Yuzen needs skill and perseverance for many fine manipulations. The Yuzen dyeing method contains over 20 steps done in cycles. These steps involve design, copy, drawing, glueing, steaming, soaking, coloring, washing, ironing, etc’.

Taken from (http://ginkgraph.net/articles/culture/yuzenbasic-knowledge.html)

An Exhibition of a kimono yuzen dyed with plum made dyes at Rinka-cho 400-2, Higashiyama-ku, I would love to see them I think dyes made out of plum is so cute!!

Umezome Yuzen plum dyeing for the coming spring

An exhibition by 2 people, Akira Yamamoto and his student, Umezome plum dyeing artists who use ancient “Umezome” natural dye, revived for modern time, extracted from the bark of plum trees.

The distinctive pale red color of plum dye will give the venue a blossoming appearance, making it feel truly like spring. An exhibition of works, that are also on sale, which includes newly made kimono, baby garments, shawls, etc., with deodorizing effects created by the plum ingredients.


I love the way the colours blend with yuzen dying and the designs created , I would love to try yuzen dying but it is a skill that needs a lot of preserving. The results would be worth it though, I love the patterns created.


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