Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The One Year Obi Project

Kawamoto san and Kamei san started to make these obis (kimono belts) over a year ago.
First they decided the pattern and cut stencils. Then made the resist paste by steaming rice flour and bran. The pattern was dyed seven times in indigo to get the darker blue. (It is quite a feat to dye something that long and sticky with glue without making a mess!) The obi was then washed and dried and re-pasted with the stencil slightly shifted to give a lighter blue three dip shadow. The obi was washed again and slightly offset resist pasted again. By this time it was autumn last year and there were not enough ultra-violet rays (that are required to change the color) left in the sun so we had to wait for summer this year. It was dyed ten times with persimmon tannin and after each dye it was dried in the hot sun to get the golden brown .

Finally today we removed the paste and the results were worth the time and effort. It was a good study as well.Their faces lit up while discussing next years persimmon tannin indigo obi and the potentials to build on these techniques and aesthetics.


  1. Wow, these are amazing! They should be proud of their achievement...!

  2. it is difficult to imagine the thought, time and energy that went into the obi. what a treasure! would love to see what it looks like when worn.

  3. That is incredible dedication to their craft and what a glorious result. I hope you will post a picture of the obi being worn at some point. We might have to stay with you for a year then!!