Kijoka banana fiber cloth Photo:Okinawa Convention&Visitors Bureau

Kijoka banana fiber cloth Kijoka no bashofu

Fabrics with simple, earthy character reflecting the climate of Okinawa
100% handmade phantom woven fabric

Description

What is Kijoka banana fiber cloth ?

Kijoka No Bashofu refers to woven cloth produced in Ogimi Village, Okinawa. Bashofu is made from the fibers of the Japanese banana plant called Basho, and has been worn in kimono among commoners in Okinawa since ancient times.
Kijoka No Bashofu is characterized by its smoothness, lightness, air permeance, thinness and strength. Described as “the wing of a dragonfly,” it is less likely to stick to the skin even in a humid climate and highly valued by people of Okinawa. Though Basho trees are indigenous to Okinawa, Kijoka has engaged in the cultivation of the plant so as to obtain better threads. The cultivation process, from pruning to producing threads, requires three years. Harvested Basho trees undergo manual pretreatment before producing fiber threads. With 60 Basho trees, weaving a bolt of Bashofu is a three-month process after tree harvesting. Kijoka No Bashofu is often called a phantom woven fabric because it employs the integrated, manual production process, from cultivation through dyeing and weaving, with local materials, which is seldom found anywhere else in Japan.

History

Kijoka banana fiber cloth - History Photo:Okinawa Convention&Visitors Bureau

It was in 1764 that multi-colored printing was developed, and became popular in Edo (now Tokyo) the following year, under the name of nishiki-e.

General Production Process

Kijoka banana fiber cloth - General Production Process Photo:Okinawa Convention&Visitors Bureau

Where to Buy & More Information

Ogimi Bashofu Kaikan

Ogimi Bashofu Kaikan Photo:Okinawa Convention&Visitors Bureau

See other Woven textiles

See items made in Okinawa