Japanese textile workshops in Tokyo

Hello! Are you looking for Japanese textile workshops in Tokyo? I had the pleasure of visiting Tokyo’s Ochiai (Nakai) neighborhood the other day with a group of visiting students from ENSAD Paris. The area has a long history of fabric dyeing and even holds a festival every February called “染めの小道” (Some no Komichi) in which you can visit a lot of the local workshops and even try some techniques yourself (See the list at the bottom).

First, we visited Okamekobo to learn how to do Okinawan Bingata stencil painting. This is possibly one of my favorites kinds of design – it’s colorful, dynamic and full of life, but still possesses a subtlety in shading and color variation.

Here are some photos of our trip to the workshop:

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Next we visited Yuuji Hirose in his home and studio. He is actually an Olympic windsurfer, but decided to put his sails aside and become the 4th generation to take over the family business, Hirose Dyeworks. He makes what is called Edo Komon fabric. He uses extremely fine stencils that are made by a very small number of craftsmen in Ise (Mie prefecture), the youngest of whom is in his 60s. Some take months to carve and can only be used to make 10-15 kimono (which use about 13 meters of cloth).

Here’s Yuuji’s story:

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After leaving Yuuji and his family, we headed down to visit Takami Kobo, a Yuzen dyeing studio and he showed us his desk and his $30,000 handpainted kimono that took him 6 months to make. He was super chill about it, NBD.

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When it was all over, I finished up at Yuuza~, the big public bath in Nakai with a huge bathtub and TV! It had been rainy and cold al day so it was really nice to have a bath. I almost passed out.
Here are some more Japanese Textile hands-on Workshops in the area:
Marbling workshop (make your own yukata): http://some-no-takako.jp/suminagashi.html
Stencil dyeing workshop: http://www.futaba-en.jp/contents/ex/
Sewing classes and workshops: http://www.stitch-jp.com/school.htm
Shoemaking classes and leathercraft workshops: http://atelier21.info/lesson/
Have fun and keep making beautiful things!
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