The Nagao woven fabric “Awashijiraori” was born out of the beautiful water and indigo, and work of craftsmen, in Tokushima.
◆What is “Awashijiraori”?
During the era of Lord Hachisuka, the former feudal lord of Awashi, the use of silk by the common classes was strictly prohibited.
Common people, therefore, it is said, made numerous innovations to improve the appearance of cotton fabric. The story goes that “Awashijiriraori” was finally devised after painstaking research by “Kaifu Hana”, a weaver girl in Awaotaku village, around the time of the Meiji restoration, taking hints from the bumps appearing on the cloth that shrunk when wet with rain water. A feature of it is that it produces an original surface graining using the tension difference of warp weaving.
In 1978, the “Awashoai Shijiraori” used by the Awa feudal lord received designation as a national traditional craft by the Minister of International Trade and Industry.
◆The Attraction of “Awashijiriraori”
The attractions are its original texture and beauty due to the characteristic graining of the Shijira. By passing the innovatively folded cloth through hot water at temperatures of 75℃ and drying, the fresh graining rises to the surface. The unevenness of the grains gives it a pleasant feel on the skin, and it has the features of being both light and cool. As it is a cotton material, it has both excellent moisture absorption and is an ideal fabric for clothes to be worn in hot weather.
◆An Introduction to Some of the “Awashijirariraori” Products
In addition to the standard kimono products, such as yukata etc., we are selling a wide variety of products, including neckties, shirts, kimono accessories, and interior products. Jijiraori uses not only indigo, but also cloth with a total of 108 colors of thread and 200 patterns.
◆What is “Aizen” (Indigo Dyeing)?
Awaai is a method of cultivation passed down from China to Japan around the year 900, and it is said that Lord Hachisuka judged the climate of the Yoshino river basin to be perfect for cultivation, so related the method to this area.
Aizen involves placing alkaline and nutritional sources, such as glucose, into “Sukumo” (fermented indigo leaves that have been collected and dried), and by soaking the cloth multiple times in this natural dye created after leaving it to sit for approximately one week, create rich dyes with real depth and freshness. Being able to include the official indigo label means that only indigo dye products cultivated in Awa are allowed, and the traditional indigo dyeing technique has been designated as an intangible cultural asset of Tokushima Prefecture.
◆The Attraction of “Indigo Dyeing”
For Japanese people, fresh rich indigo colors have historically been loved as universal colors for healing the mind.
Natural indigo dyes well in cotton, and as it is resistant against sunlight and cleaning, the more you wash it, the deeper and more composed its texture becomes. Its aroma that increases with weathering is said to have insect repellent effects as well as the medicinal benefits that indigo has for protecting the skin, making it ideal as a material for clothing.
◆Indigo Dyeing Factory Tour
Fee Free of charge ※Requires reservation
Length of tour Approximately 20 minutes
◆Indigo Dyeing Trial
Handkerchief 1,000 yen Approx. 30 mins
Towel/scarf 1,600 yen Approx. 30 mins
Half-sleeved T-shirt（F size, tie-dyeing, plate dyeing） 3,900 yen 30 mins – 1 hour
Hemp blend stole（Asawata:45×150cm）
Silk stole（Silk:28×120cm） 2,200 yen
2,500 yen 30 mins – 1 hour
30 mins – 1 hour
※Group discount when 10 or more people
20% discount limited to Handkerchief for 1000 yen only.
※This includes the instruction fee
※Size relates to the size of the cut, and may shrink slightly after dyeing.
※If you bring items other than the above yourself for dyeing, you will be charged a facility usage fee of￥500. You will also be charged a dyeing fee of ￥750 for items under 50 g, with an additional 15 yen per gram if this is exceeded.
All prices are inclusive of tax.
When bringing items yourself, this will be divided into two sessions.
Morning session 9AM – 12PM Afternoon session 13:00 – 16:00
※The trial fee is to be paid at the site on the day of the trial.
※You cannot use credit cards to pay the trial fee.
◆Opening hours/holidays etc.
Opening hours AM9:00-PM4:00
Holidays Closed Saturdays and Sundays
※We may open in case of group reservations, so please discuss your plans with us.