Thursday, 5 August 2010

1500 Years of Silk Weaving in Yuki Villages

Eleven students and I paid a visit to the Yuki area north of Tokyo in Ibaragi and Tochigi prefectures on Tuesday. The area is famous for producing the world's only unspun/thrown type of silk weave in the world. The ikat/kasuri rolls of silk for one kimono go for about $20 000 - $60 000 US dollars.

What a brilliant day. We visited four different organizations. Each extremely informative and friendly. We were all taken aback and impressed beyond words.

The fabrics were heavenly. The craftspeople talented and patient beyond words.

1500 years of painstakingly making silk floss and pulling it into fine threads..not spinning or reeling it. There are 40 different steps between the silk cocoon and the finished roll of silk. Each step requiring extraordinarily care and well...1500 years of perfectionism.

I could fill a moths blog on just that one day excursion. I wanted to see some specific parts of the entire process to fill in some technical holes in my own work.

I wanted to look carefully at the Japanese technique of making a thread heddle set. We watched a master at work for an hour and I learned volumes from her resourceful and graceful hands.


  1. 結城での見学ツアー、たのしかったです。作業の実際を見学させてもらうことは、よい刺激になりました。また、みなさんでどこかに見学に行きたいです。

  2. there is so much one can learn by watching a master crafts person at work. more than can be expressed with words alone. sounds like a very good day.