What is Kyo-Yuzen?

Yuzen is the most common technique used in the dyeing of Japanese kimono fabric. The yuzen technique was invented in the Edo period around 1700 by a fan painter in Kyoto named Yuzensai Miyazaki. He was a very talented artist and his patterns and color sense became very popular and much in demand. With the popularity of his fans, be began to receive commissions from aristocrats to paint kimono fabric.

 
 
Yuzensai Miyazaki

Yuzensai Miyazaki

Yuzensai Miyazaki develop the process to create high quality dyed fabric whose art would not be ruined by rain, humidity, sweat, sunlight and so on, yet retained the artistic and nuanced qualities of hand painted artwork. With combinations of stencil, brush and resist techniques, the dye craftsmen created fabric that is its own artform. The characteristic point of yuzen dyeing is to dye complicated patterns with many colors and tonal gradation. And, of course with the dyeing process fabric can be produced in larger quantity than by hand painting.

After the fabric is dyed it is dried, steamed, washed and dried. The steaming process sets the yuzen dye. Without this labor intensive process, the product cannot be called yuzen.

 

At Pagong, we have inherited the culture and techniques developed by Yuzensai Miyazaki that were evolved and improved by countless Kyoto craftsmen over the centuries. We are all very honored to bring the Kyoto yuzen tradition to Western clothing.