I recently heard that they have been planting rice in Tango. Summer must be coming! In Tokyo it seems that the rainy season has started, but it isn’t too hot yet. It seems a long time ago when I visited Tango.
Because I love kimono, it is always a delight for me to go and visit places where textiles are being made. When I was there, I was fortunate enough to visit several workshops, and at each one I learn something new.
Tayuh textile industry is a large and well-known chirimen silk workshop. I was able to go around it with the owner, Mr. Tamoi, and see the processes involved in making the silk. It is a very complex process with many stages to it.
At this workshop I began to think about the importance of the warp threads. The weft threads are joined together if they run out during the weaving process, but the warps are the length of the whole fabric.
At Tayuh there is a special area for arranging the warp threads keeping untangled. It is well over twelve meters long, which is the length of a roll of kimono silk. Here, several thousands, hundreds of these long fine threads are reeled out, and held under tension with weights. They are then fed through a small mesh that gathers them into the right place and finally wound around a large wooden roll.
This keeps every warp thread in place until the weaving. These silk threads, not yet woven together, have a beautiful lustre.
I found this process fascinating. There are several thousand warp threads in each kimono, and each and every one must be in exactly the right place to weave the silk.
It is interesting to see the techniques that have been used here from ancient times being used in the fashion industry too. I always enjoy visiting these workshops and talking with the dedicated people who devote their lives to their crafts.