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Aiken Kobo Workshop



One of my favorite activities is working with Indigo, a traditional dye used with great skill in Japan. So we searched out the Aizen Kobo Workshop to meet Master Dyer Kenichi Utsuki who works with his son in the 120 year old building where his father and grandfather were weavers of fine Obi as well as being indigo dyers.

He showed us indigo-dyed pieces decorated using the tsutsugaki paste resist technique. One of the highlights of this visit was seeing the weaving sample books kept by his father and grandfather.

Kenichi uses only natural indigo from the indigenous Knotweed plant known as Tade, making fermentation vats. Many of his fabrics and yarns are dyed between 15 and 20 times to create the desired shade of blue. His wife Hisako designs fashionable garments with the indigo-dyed cloth, some patterned with shibori and displayed in their show room. I couldn't resist buying a silk crepe shawl, shibori-dyed to wear for special occasions.


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