Kurume traditional resist-dyed textiles

Kurume traditional resist-dyed textiles Kurume gasuri

One of the three famous kasuri fabrics invented by a Kurume girl
Naive indigo blue added beautiful hues with washing


What is Kurume traditional resist-dyed textiles ?

Kurume Gasuri refers to woven cloth produced in and around Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Superior breathability assures coolness in summer, and excellent heat-retaining properties provides warmth in winter. The cotton cloth delivers more comfortable fit and better texture as it is used. Kurume Gasuri endowed with excellent durability is perfect for everyday clothes. Characterized by its delicate splashed pattern, the hand-woven cloth gives warmth. Advances in design techniques contributed to technique development in Kurume Gasuri design patterns, such as Ogara (large patterns) kasuri, Kogara (small patterns) kasuri and Egara (figure patterns) kasuri. Renowned as part of the three most famous kasuri fabrics along with Bingo Gasuri and Iyo Gasuri, naive indigo-blue Kurume Gasuri textile with delicate patterns allows a pleasant experience. The cotton kasuri fabric gains in beauty as washed and will be beloved of all.


Kurume Gasuri is a textile that was yielded by pursuit of a 12-year-old girl named Den Inoue living in Kurume City. Repeated washing of an indigo-dyed kimono decolorizes, causing white faded dots in the fabric. Kurume Gasuri stemmed from Den’s idea of detangling the threads to examine faded dots and dyeing new threads the same way as the detangled threads. Her fabric was called Kasuri and welcomed in the market. Technique development of adding pictorial patterns led to gradual increase in production and the number of her followers. As of 1827, she had over 1,000 followers, of which 400 were sprinkled across the country, promulgating Kurume Gasuri nationwide and allowing the Kurume Gasuri industry to be established a dominant place.
Kasuri fabrics were worn in kimono among common people, but production started taking a downturn with the advent of clothes. Some say the time of Kasuri fabrics has passed, but there is an effort afoot to reinvigorate the Kasuri textile industry encouraging some artisans to make clothes out of kasuri fabric.

General Production Process

Kurume traditional resist-dyed textiles - General Production Process

  1. 1. Design patterns Designing patterns is the first process in Kurume Gasuri. It involves visualizing a complete pattern.
  2. 2. Egami Egami is a process of formatting the proportion of warps to wefts and writing down a size and the number of reed dents according to the design.
  3. 3. Tatejaku-zukuri Tatejaku is a process of marking a width on a 5- or 6-mm bamboo stick for binding warp threads.
  4. 4. Shitae Shitae is a process of redrawing a design based on the egami, allowing for shrinkage of weft threads.
  5. 5. Eitogaki Eitogaki is a process of making patterned threads to be used as a mark for binding weft threads.
  6. 6. Tatehae Tatehae is a process of calculating the number of warps according to the design and spooling the threads.
  7. 7. Nukihae (Seinuki) Nukihae is a process of aligning the wefts in a set of 20.
  8. 8. Itotaki (refinement) Itotaki is a process of boiling the threads to give strength and remove impurities.
  9. 9. Sarashi (bleaching) Sarashi is a process of bleaching the threads with a solution that is made from a supernatant liquid of bleaching powder is mixed with bicarbonate of soda.
  10. 10. Sizing Sizing is a significant process of applying diluted starch paste to the threads to keep them together.
  11. 11. Tekukuri Tekukuri is a process of binding the warps around the bamboo stick (tatejaku) while stretched evenly. The wefts are bound according to the marks on the egami.
  12. 12. Aidate Aidate is a process of fermenting with a high-quality indigo dye, allowing 7 to 10 days to process.
  13. 13. Aizome Aizome is an indigo dyeing process using the indigo dye vat (aigame). With dyes prepared by concentration, the dyeing process starts with a low-concentrated dye. Dyed threads need thorough beating.
  14. 14. Washing Washing is a process of rinsing off lye or contamination.
  15. 15. Kasuritoki Kasuritoki is a process of detangling the washed threads quickly before they are dried.
  16. 16. Washing and Bleaching The detangled threads are immersed in water.
  17. 17. Sizing and Drying This process is of applying diluted starch paste to the threads to keep them together and drying them.
  18. 18. Tatewari (pattern alignment) Tatewari is a process of tying itoshino in a bundle by pattern.
  19. 19. Sizing and Drying This process is of reapplying diluted starch paste to the threads and drying them. Kurume Gasuri requires a series of delicate, important processes. Proper sizing and drying make weaving easier.
  20. 20. Warikomi and Osatoshi
    Two of each warp and ground thread are drawn through a reed dent.

Where to Buy & More Information

Takumi(Art & Craft) Gallery

Takumi(Art & Craft) Gallery

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