in july 2007, i did a weaving workshop in kyoto with my mom and my crafty friend rebecca at orinasu kan, in the nishijin area of kyoto. nishijin is the textile district, and also the name of a traditional weaving style.
orinasu kan 織成館（おりなすかん）
address: daikoku-cho, kamidachiuri agaru, jofukuji-dori, kamigyo-ku, kyoto city
hours: 10am-4pm, closed mondays, new years, new years eve.
view of the entry to orinasu kan from the street.
our teacher. the workshop was at orinasu-kan, which is housed in a traditional japanese shop house. they have a textile display section, a workshop space, and next door is a working textile factory. unfortunately, you can't take pictures in the factory section, but it was very cool to see how they are using the traditional looms, but updated with electrical and computer technology. (although they showed us a 3.5 floppy disk during the explanation about technology, so i'm not sure how cutting edge it is;-)
a traditional spinning wheel on display in the museum.
we starting by picking colors of silk to use as our weft.
the looms were already warped, so we tried to match the colors.
our finished work. it took 2 hours, and i think we all felt like we had just gotten the hang of tossing the shuttle with the right motion/speed when our time was up.
i would highly recommend this workshop for people who want an intro to weaving. of the three of us, i was the total beginner, so it was a fine level for me. i think for someone like my mom who has done a lot of weaving, it was a fun experience, but didn't get into any advanced information. the instruction was all in japanese. if you don't speak japanese, i think you would have no problem going and weaving a placemat, but obviously you wouldn't be able to understand a lot of information. they are listed in lonely planet kyoto book.