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Kyo-yuzen kimono

Do you know the Kyo-yuzen kimono ?

3 min read

Today, still few people know that the Kyo yuzen kimono has become synonymous with high-end kimono. It's time to rectify the situation. This article will discuss the meaning, main characteristics and history of kimono kyo yuzen. After having it luvous you will become a true expert of the kimono kyo yuzen !

The kimono kyo yuzen is a kind of kimono, the traditional Japanese dress. The dyeing technique of yuzen zome (yuzen dyeing) has a special manufacturing method.

Short history of the kimono Kyo Yuzen

It is said that yuzen zome finds its source in Gion, Kyoto, at the beginning of the Genroku period (1688-1703) in Japan. It was designed by "Yuzensai Miyazaki", the senmen eshi (fan surface painter).

At that time, a law prohibited and controlled the manufacture and use of luxury items. The Yuzen zome technique was invented to circumvent the law. Among the luxury items, the japanese kimono made according to the "kanokoshibori", one of the techniques then commonly used to dye kimonos was prohibited. Indeed, the technique of yuzen zome made it possible to manufacture colored kimonos only with glue which did not violate the law enacted by the government of the shogunate.

Characteristics of the kimono Kyo Yuzen

The glue used with the yuzen zome technique is called itome-nori. It serves as a stopper for the dyeing agents.

This glue preserves the pattern close to the dyed pattern and the fabric underneath. Thus, they are not stained by the color. Moreover, the glue makes it possible to use more colors and more painted patterns compared to the time when the kimono was dyed with a tie.

The kyo yuzen kimono used various colors and patterns by recreating expressions very close to the image. The kimono kyo yuzen quickly became popular among people who lived in those days and loved beautiful objects.

A beautiful work is born from a desire, designers capable of materializing it and a technique to create it. The kyo yuzen technique and the kyo yuzen kimono met the needs of the time. It's impressive to think back to how people felt at that time. But it's important to know how to wear the Kimono.

The kimono kyo yuzen and its variants

The technique called "yuzen zome", named after its inventor, has spread to different parts of Japan. This is how different regional variants of yuzen zome came into being. The cultures and characteristics of the different regions marked them. In order to differentiate itself from other yuzen, the original version born in Kyoto took the name of kyo yuzen: it is in a way the mother of all yuzen kimonos such as the Edo yuzen of Tokyo or the Kaga yuzen of Ishikawa prefecture.

The Kyo yuzen kimono of Kyoto uses yellow and vermilion as underlying tones. The patterns are mainly distorted illustrations. One thinks for example of kacho fugetsu: this concept refers to nature in general, such as flowers or birds.

Often the surface of a kimono is decorated with gold leaf known for its luxury and overwhelming splendor. Kyoto was the world of elegance where aristocrats and nobles of the court resided. The beautiful kimono kyo yuzen naturally became popular and adapted to the atmosphere of the city.

The kimono kyo yuzen owes its existence to a very elaborate system of division of labor in which a professional craftsman uses his creative talent.
fabric kimono yuzen
Compared to the kyo yuzen patterns, the kaga yuzen kimono of Ishikawa Prefecture is famous for its picturesque and realistic patterns. For a realistic representation of the patterns, craftsmen even paint the worm-eaten leaves or faded petals. This is an interesting and distinctive feature not found in the kyo yuzen kimono.

The kyo yuzen uses simple astringent colors such as indigo blue, brown or white. The image of modernity it conveys has made it popular among the city's inhabitants.

Yuzen Kata and tegaki-yuzen

Nowadays, there are two types of yuzen zome.

The first is "kata yuzen": patterns are used to dye the kimono. This dyeing technique uses patterns engraved on patterned paper. The same kimono can be reproduced a number of times.

The second type of yuzen zome is "tegaki-yuzen" where the craftsman literally dyes the patterns by hand. Of course, a kimono made by this technique can be reproduced. Nevertheless, its patterns are beautiful and its colors are incomparable. Moreover, it is considered a kimono of superior quality, especially since it is the result of hard work. Tegaki-yuzen is Kyo-yuzen.

We hope that this article has been informative enough about what the kyo-yuzen kimono is. Please note that the traditional kimono kyo-yuzen comes from the long historical tradition of Japan.