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Kurume Kasuri: Kimono with splashed patterns


It is a kind of Japanese kimono for rather ordinal lives. The basic tone is crispy colors (mainly indigo blue) with small or striped (and mainly white) patterns, which give you very sympathetic feeling.

Kurume Kasuri is now one of the three major Kasuri Kimonos in Japan, and many people love to wear.

Surprisingly, the origin of this precious art is a 12-year-old girl, Inoue Den, in the late Edo period.

Kasuri is the name for yarn-dyed fabrics and the art was firstly developed in India around 7th century. The technique was imported to Ryukyu, current Okinawa in about 14th century, and is said to spread all over Japan.

But Inoue Den, who was a daughter of a farmer and was an excellent weaver, somehow innovated this art by herself when she found small spots on her clothe. She sewed the kimono, studied the mechanism, and finally came up an idea of tying a thread to some parts of yarn before dyeing it. She found out the key concept of Kasuri by herself.

The production of Kurume Kasuri is now decreasing, one reason is the numerous steps and man-hour; 30 steps and 3 months with 900 threads different each other, the production requires.

However, the stable and still fashionable patterns and characteristics of familiarity, texture and feel which are improved as you wear due to the material, pure cotton, is loved by many fans.

More than that, the lot of steps and hand works by artisans make the fabric tough and durable to laundering. It is what we love to wear in everyday lives.

Kurume Kasuri was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1976.

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