What is Itome-oki – We Love Kimono Project 8

In my previous blog post I showed you Kosaka-san’s sketch sketch with aobana ink.  Once the sceth was completed, Kosaka-san disassembled and stitched back the kimono fabric into the long narrow shape.

The next step is to directly place paste dye on the lines of the aobana ink sketch.  In a similar way as using a pastry bag to decorate a cake, the craftsman squeezes the paste dye out of the nozzle.  The very small nozzle makes it possible to dye very thin lines with such a precision. 

Unlike aobana ink, the paste dye is, literally, dye.  It can’t be washed away once placed on the fabric.  One fumble can mess up the whole thing.  It requires years of practice in order to squeeze out paste dye in a consistent way to dye such fine lines. 

This process called 糸目置Itome-oki.  Itome means thread pattern, depicting the very fine line like a thread.  The most distinctive feature of Yuzen technique.

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