Hikizome (lit. ‘pull dye’) is a traditional Japanese dye technique in which fabric is stretched tight, water is applied and then dye is applied by hand with a brush. Painting the dye into the wet fabric causes it to blur. This technique can also be known as bokashizame, (lit. ‘blur dye’).
Horizontally, the fabric is stretched and pulled tight between the two ends of the dye workshop. This is about 15 meters in length. The fabric width is between 50 and 100 cm. Width-wise it is spread tight with narrow bamboo sticks called ’shinshi’ in Japanese.
Fourth Generation Proprietor and Hikizome Dye Artisan, Nishimura-san
At Takaokaya, we collaborate with a number of traditional Kyoto dye artisans including Nishimura-san who specializes in Hikizome exclusively. Nishimura-san is the 4th generation proprietor of his century old family business. Currently the workshop is located in the Muromachi neighborhood which is the traditional dyeing district of Kyoto. However, Nishimura-san’s ancestors started out further up north in the Ogawa area (lit ‘little stream’). This area was famed for it’s fresh, clean water, therefore the Schools of Japanese Tea Ceremony — Wikipedia article — Urasenke, Omotosenke and Mushakojisenke can still be found here.
Surely Nishimura-san’s ancestors were drawn to this neighborhood due to the quality, fresh flowing water which is needed in large quantity for these dyeing arts.
We are adding more colors to our popular Nishijin Silk Ojami Cushion Collection!!
Meeting with Weaving House Owner and Textile Designer
A custom-made authentic Kyoto souvenir that can be a part of your everyday life after you return home. Recall your Kyoto travel memories while relaxing with our handcrafted cushions made of vintage kimono fabric that you chose!
Copenhagen based Danish-Japanese fashion designer Mika Ishii explores Kyoto’s Toji Temple antiques market and selects some vintage kimono fabric that Takaokaya makes Mika’s unique souvenir collection of zabuton cushions with.
Exploring the Market: Copenhagen based Danish-Japanese fashion designer Mika Ishii
Ojami cushions made with the world’s first camouflage textile pattern!
Funzoe Brocade Ojami Zabuton Cushion Collection
Takaokaya and Izutsu Textiles collaborated to create a new collection that we call Funzoe Brocade Ojami Cushion Collection. Funzoe is a traditional and historic Japanese priest robe pattern. Buddhist Master, Kukai is known to have worn this pattern as his heavily patched and repaired robe some 1,200 years ago! This collection was unveiled in Paris at Maison et Objet, 2015.
Ojami cushions made with the treasured dye technique of the 1,200 year old imperial capital — Kyo-Yuzen!
Kyo-Yuzen Dye Ojami Zabuton Cushion Collection
Takaokaya and Pagong collaborated to create a new collection that we call Kyo-Yuzen Dye Ojami Zabuton Cushion Collection. Kyo-Yuzen is a dyeing technique that was invented in Kyoto by Miyazaki Yuzen-sai around 1700. Miyazaki’s technique transformed yuzen dyeing into something that could create the full spectrum of artistic expression on fabric — from the thinnest, sharpest lines to blurred motifs à la brush and ink and watercolour painting — and everything in between. Period literature says that once Kyo-Yuzen was invented, 20 other dyeing techniques went extinct. The technique spread throughout the land, but it was in Kyoto that it was developed to the pinnacle of perfection over the following centuries. This collection was unveiled in Paris at Maison et Objet, 2015.
Takaokaya and Swiss fabric brand, Jakob Schlaepfer collaborate to create a new collection that we call Fantasy Fabric Ojami Cushion Collection. This truly fantastic collection was unveiled in Paris at Maison et Objet, 2015.
Takaokaya + Jakob Schlaepfer Fantasy Fabric Ojami Collection
At Maison et Objet 2014, Takaokaya introduced our Nishijin Silk Collection of Ojami cushions to a very favorable reception. This year, we will introduce three new remarkable collections. Here is a sneak peek.
Today the International Business Development Team (Nanako and Michael) here at Takaokaya visited our itajime shibori dye artisan’s workshop in Kyoto. Nagakawa-san is the second generation in his family to be a shibori dye artisan, starting at age 18, he now has more than 50 years of experience in this unusual shaped-resist dye technique in which blocks of wood press certain parts of the cloth, preventing their dyeing. In fact, it seems there is no one else left in Kyoto doing authentic itajime shibori.
Nagakawa-san is not only unique and experienced, he has the highest accolade in all the land. In 2009 the Order of the Sacred Treasure was bestowed upon him by Emperor Akihito! The Order of the Sacred Treasure, called Zuihosho (瑞宝章) in Japanese, is awarded to men and women who have made distinguishing achievements in the arts, sciences and so on. We are of course very honored to work with such an esteemed craftsman.
An Example of Itajime Shibori Dye Technique
Today the International Business Development Team (Nanako and Michael) here at Takaokaya visited our weaving partner in Nishijin, Kyoto’s historic weaving district. This traditional workshop weaves the unique silk for our one-of-a-kind Nishijin Silk Ojami Cushion Collection, featured in this recent ‘Kutsurogi’ blog article.
Nishijin Jacquard Loom Weaving Takaokaya’s Signature ‘Rokusho Patina Green’ Silk Textile
It looks like camouflage to us — but it isn’t! What is ‘funzoe’?
While we are just in the prototyping stage, we just wanted to let you know about a new collection that we are developing with Izutsu, a Kyoto textile house with 310 years of experience in the finest Japanese brocades — used for Buddhist and Shinto priest robes and temple and shrine decorations. We have have been doing prototyping with Izutsu since April and have worked on getting the fabric the appropriate lightness and weave tightness for our handcrafted cushions. Izutsu used their rare, custom-made loom for weaving priest robe fabric for summer.
‘Funzoe’ Pattern Monotone Ojami Cushion