Kasuri is a fabric that has been woven with thread fibers dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the material.
The word Kasuri is derived from the Japanese word, “kasureru,” meaning “blurred” because of the innate tendency for kasuri designs to appear splashed and blurry. The technique is similar to that of ikat patterns, which originated around the world simultaneously with kasuri. Because the individual threads are dyed versus printed on one side of the fabric, the design is woven into the fabric, allowing it to appear on both sides.
We source all our kasuri from Japanese heritage manufacturers. Each kasuri scarf features a scent stick that tucks into its tag and also is accompanied by an antiqued safety pin held in a muslin bag.
Both the Tottori and Shimane prefectures are famous for Kasuri and Yumihama-Gasuri fabric, which is characterized by a beautiful combination of white and indigo dyed threads. Both of these fabrics became increasingly popular during the Edo period.
A unique representation of indigo dyeing in Shimane is Hirose-Gasuri. This traditional textile technique originated in Hirose, Yasugi City, the eastern area of Shimane. It has been coveted for its large and sharp designs, and can only be created with special tools that create precise and complex patterns and designs.
Kurume-gasuri is a fabric first created by Inoue Den, a 13 year old girl born in 1788 in Kurume. Many farmers in the Chikugo area have since woven the fabric as a side business since the end of Edo era. The skillful design techniques paired with their beautiful shades of indigo have always, and continue to be popular among people in Japan and around the world.
Modern day Kurume is facilitated by innovation in machinery, and features a weaving technique that renders both a texture and design that are unique to each side of the fabric.
When designing Kurume Kasuri fabric is is typically woven with a pattern in which the reverse of the design appears on the opposite side of the fabric. Generating this pattern uses much more thread, thus the smooth, patterned texture that is unique only to Kurume textiles.
The textiles are still woven on the original looms of the crafting families who first founded the technique. Kurume Kasuri is a testament to a continuing dedication to craft and tradition alongside the rise of machine manufacturing.