Contemporary Kurume Kasuri

Kurume Kasuri is the representative cotton kasuri of Japan. Kurume is in the Kyushu district, and in 1788 Den Inoue had started to weave kasuri. It is said that she was only 12 years old, and she noticed the old indigo dyed cotton fabric had whitish dots. She took the fabric apart, and she examined the fabric, and invented to weave kasuri pattern. Her 'kasuri' soon became famous, and when she was 40 years old, she had more than several hundreds of pupils. In this district farmers became to weave kasuri as side business, and after the Meiji period(1868-1912) Kurume Kasuri became famous and popular all over
Japan as the ordinary cotton wear. Through the mechanization age, elaborate weaving technique have survived, and Kurume kasuri is evaluated as the highest grade of cotton kasuri.
Kurume Kasuri is dyed with natural indigo before weaving. The yarn of weft and warp are tied with 'arasou' ( the epidermis of the hemp plant), and dyed with natural indigo('ai'). The tied part of the yarn remain white, and when the weft and warp are woven, beautiful splash pattern appears. The process of the tieing is called 'tekukuri', which means 'tie by hand', and its technique is very unique and difficult.

Dyer must tie hard not to get loose when it is dyed, and at a time it must be easy to be untied right after dyed. Its delicate tieing work affects the pattern.Yarns are dyed with natural indigo ('ai'). Ai dyer has more than 8 big bottles of the 'ai', and they have different concentrations. Yarns are dyed dipped in from the thin 'ai' bottle to thick 'ai' bottle. When the yarn is lifted from the bottle, it is twisted and beaten and banged against the floor. This process is repeated more than 30 times. When the yarn is bated, indigo is contacted with air, which help the indigo to chemical change and dyed. Its whole processes are over 30, and to weave one Kurume Kasuri bolt take a month or two.Kurume Kasuri is woven wtih unique 'nagehibata' . Warp and weft are woven carefully to make splashed-pattern.
Now in Kurume, approx 150,000 kasuri bolt are produced in a year. And 140,000 are woven with machine, and 'Kukuri' is also done with machine, and half of them are for monpe( pants for agricultural work) and another half for kimono. 10,000 bolts are woven by hand and 'Kukuri' by machine, and only 120 bolts are made by hand through all processes in traditional way , as we wrote above. 120 bolts are made by some few craft men, and they are sold to a few Kurume Kasuri whole sellers. To carry on the traditional Kurume Kasuri technique, goverment give price supports to craft men and whole sellers. The retail price of the all hand made Kurume Kasuri costs approx $5,000-$10,000. You may fell it is too expensive for cotton bolt. But to weave

Kurume Kasuri by hand, it will take three months. Average monthly wage of Japanese is $3,200, and if calucurate the cost with average wage, only the labor-cost will be $3,200x3=$9,600. So the without the price supports the retail cost will be triply or fourfold.
Mass production Kurume Kasuri of them are woven by machine by crikey, but if you look their process, you will find that they also need manipulative and adjustment skills. Machines look old-fashioned, and are not computer-controlled. In the factory, Japanese craftman ship spirit is filled.
We listi contemporary Kurume Kasuri in three groups here.
1) Hand Weaving / Double Ikat / Pure 'Ai' Dyed
2) Hand Weaving / Weft Ikat ( 'Yokoso')/ Picturesque Pattern / Pure 'Ai'
3) Machine Weaving / Double Ikat
Our prices per bolt have to be 1) $900 2) $680 3) $230,. We are offering Kurume Kasuri by meter or per design here.All have very soft touch, and we wish you could touch them.