Oshima Tsumugi
Oshima Tsumugi

Coral chadows flicker
in this
Souch Island Paradise
An unexplainable silk fabric
Oshima Tsumugi
So far from The Silk Road
This sophisticated mystery kept for over 1300 years
Light as wind
Warm as soil
Like the sparkling sunlight
Beautiful, elegant, romantic silk.
Oshima tsumugi

Making Tsumugi Fabric

yShimebataz(Binding)
In Amami, the unique Kasuri thread designs are begun with a special binding process called Shimebata. Cotton threads bind silk threads thus creating a design on each silk thread. The threads are bound together and woven initially on a rudimentary loom. This technique is usually performed by men as the equipment is rather sturdy and substantial force is needed to manipulate the parts.

ySomez(Dying)

i) Teichigi Dying
Woodchips from a red-bark tree called Theichigi are boiled for 14 hours in a large cauldron. The bound threads are dyed in this liquid 30-40 times until they become dark red.
mud dying
ii) Mud dying
The bound threads are then dyed in iron-rich mud deposits 3-4 times, then taken out and immersed in the Teichigi liquid again 20 more times. Eventually, the thread turns a majestic black.

Weaving yOriz(Weaving)
The specially dyed silk threads are then woven on a refined loom to create the Kasuri design. This final weaving process demands delicate and skillfull workmanship. Each row is threaded by hand and approximately every 7 cm the thread positions are carefully checked to ensure the exact alignment of the design.


Ideas on Wearing Tsumugi

Tsumugi kimonos are usually worn informally thus there are no strict, formal rules for wearing it. For this reason it is an ideal material for expressing the wearer's individual style. The obi(belt) should portray a soft, relaxed image. Tsumugi kimonos are best worn at a length 3-4 cm from the ground.

Tsumugi Care

Acid is harmful to Tsumugi so care is needed with vinegar, fruit juice, and perspiration. To remove fruit juice from Tsumugi, tightly wring out excess water from a damp cloth and gently pat the affected area. Finally, use the palm of the hand to carefully press the meterial dry.
Professional cleaning of Tsumugi kimono is recommended as needed.

Honba Oshima Tsumugi Terms

Doroai-oshima
is a high quality Tsumugi woven by threads dyed in the traditional way. It is a shiny silk, majestic black in color.
doroai-oshima
is a special Tsumugi made from first dying the threads in an ai(indigo) plant solution, then in a mud pool. The base of this silk is black, with an indigocolored design.
Iro-oshima
is a colorful Tsumugi which uses chemical dyes to produce the colors. Both the base and the design uses color freely.
Ai-oshima
is a Tsumugi which is dyed exclusively by the ai(indigo) plant. Not many of this type are produced these days.
Kusakizome-oshima
is a Tsumugi which uses dyes from various plants, except the Teichigi and Ai. Only a few of this type are produced.
Otokomono
is a men's style Tsumugi, usually of a single color with a small-patterned design.
Yomi
is the density of a warp(lengthwise threads). A group of 80 threads is called 1 Yomi. The most frequently used warp densities are 13.3, and 15 Yomi, with 18 Yomi used for special products.
Maruki
is a group of 80 Tatekasuri threads. The most common densities of this type are 9.6, 7.2, 6.0 and 5.8 Maruki. The greater the amount of Tatekasuri threads, the more difficult is to create the design, thus resulting in very high quality products.

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