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Entries in indigo (5)

Monday
Feb212011

kosoen indigo studio in tokyo

kosoen is an indigo dyeing studio in tokyo, dyeing using the traditional japanese method. english page here: http://www.kosoen.com/kosoen.html

the excellent 'about aizome' page: http://www.kosoen.com/aizome.html has detailed information about the process of japanese indigo, from growing the plant to different dyeing methods: ito-zome; shibori-zome; ita-jime; kata-zome; tsutsu-gaki.

Monday
Mar172008

aizen kobo 藍染工房 あいぜんこうぼう

aizen kobo is an indigo dye workshop/studio/store in an old townhouse in the nishijin textile area of kyoto. it's very close to the nishijin textile center, if you are trying to find it you can ask here.

address : Nakasuji-Omiya Nishi, Yoko-omiyacho, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8449, JAPAN

phone: 075-441-0355

hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-5:30PM; Saturday,Sunday and National Holiday 10:00a.m-4:00p.m. call ahead for reservations.

hands-on dyeing workshop is only available on days when it's not raining, since the dye vats are in an outdoor courtyard.


i would definitely recommend visiting aizen kobo for anyone interested in learning more about japanese indigo. the people who run it are great, very friendly, and enthusiastic about speaking english. the photo above is one of the lovely large tatami rooms where the indigo dyed products are displayed.

Monday
Jul092007

natural indigo dyestuff displayed at the miho museum

the gift shop at the miho musuem has a display about natural dyes, which also includes these parts of the natural japanese indigo dye process.
'dry indigo': the japanese says 'kansou aiba' which means, dried leaves of the 'ai' or japanese indigo (polygonum) plant.
'indigotin' (which i believe is actually what is found in all varieties of indigo): the japanese says 'sukumo,' which is actually the specific name for the 'ai' leaves that are fermented as part of the traditional japanese indigo dye process. more info here.

Wednesday
Jun272007

natural plant dying at oohara kobo 大原工房(おおはらこぼう)

this is the view of oohara kobo, 大原工房(おおはらこぼう) a plant dye workshop in oohara, 大原(おおはら) which is a small town an hour north of kyoto. they offer both natural plant dyeing and natural indigo dying, which i've included in the indigo workshop journal.

oohara kobo 大原工房 おおはらこうぼう

address: 327 Kusao-cho, Ohara, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 京都府京都市左京区大原草生町327

phone: 075-744-3138

hours: 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m; closed: wednesday; no website

*from 500 yen, you can dye a hankerchief, or you can choose from a variety of silk scarves, etc. it's also posible to bring your own items to dye. since the dying takes place outdoors, it's only possible to do during summer when the weather is mild.

access: from kyoto JR station, take kyoto city bus number 17 towards oohara (大原) 57 minutes, alternativiely, you can take kyoto city bus number 19, which leaves from 地下鉄烏丸線国際会館前駅 subway station and takes 22 minutes to reach oohara. when you arrive in oohara, it's a 20 minute walk.

i was really excited to try their dye course (summer 2007). my mom and i stayed overnight at a nearby traditional japanese onsen ryokan, and went here on sunday morning. it was great. the owner spoke some english, and gave us lots of information (more so when we kept asking detailed questions!).

this is the view from their back porch, with dyed cotton hanging.
inside the shop/example area of the workshop, showing all the scarves and colors available.
in the dye shed, with the proprietor at the stove. he was a very entertaining fellow.

yarn dyed with loquat, or japanese medlar, or biwa びわ in japanese.
madder plant (grown very very locally). in japanese akane.


traditional cotton spinning wheel in use. they grow a small amount of their own cotton.

oohara is an easy day trip from kyoto, with beautiful scenery and a very lovely temple.

 

Wednesday
Jun272007

oohara kobo (oohara, kyoto) japanese indigo dyeing

oohara kobo, which is also discussed in the natural dye journal, includes natural indigo dyeing in their workshop. the grow their own japanese indigo (polygonum) too.

oohara kobo 大原工房 おおはらこうぼう

address: 327 Kusao-cho, Ohara, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City 京都府京都市左京区大原草生町327

phone: 075-744-3138

hours: 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m; closed: wednesday; no website

*from 500 yen, you can dye a hankerchief, or you can choose from a variety of silk scarves, etc. it's also posible to bring your own items to dye. since the dying takes place outdoors, it's only possible to do during summer when the weather is mild.

access: from kyoto JR station, take kyoto city bus number 17 towards oohara (大 原) 57 minutes, alternativiely, you can take kyoto city bus number 19, which leaves from 地下鉄烏丸線国際会館前駅 subway station and takes 22 minutes to reach oohara. when you arrive in oohara, it's a 20 minute walk.

 

this is the japanese indigo plant, or polygonum. in japanese, it's called tadeai. ai means indigo as in aizome 藍染め (あいぞめ)which means indigo dyeing. this is what it looks like dried. the leaves can be used directly to dye, but this is not really ever done. tadeai is fermented in a big bucket. it's really a huge bucket, the size of an oil drum. with other ingredients added, sort of like food for the fermentation process.and goes into this vat, which is 1 meter deep.dyeing a silk scarf using oxidation to get a deeper color: one minute in the dye, one minute in the air. *repeat.*
silk scarf