November 9, 2013
Visiting Nara and Kyoto in fall!
When I visit a thread or textile producing areas, it is often far away from main cities look at this site. And people believe I always enjoy sightseeing there. It is only true when I move on a vehicle.
Unfortunately, it isn’t about tourism this time, but about thread making and weaving in a studio with number of skilled hemp thread makers and weavers.
First stop was Tsukigase village in Nara prefecture.
The picture above tells you the fabric production in this area in the Edo Period.
The hemp fiber produced in Gunma Prefecture(I attended the harvesting and fiber taking last summer, visit hemp), is delivered to this place and become thread then fabric.
Tsukigase has along tradition for ramie and hemp textile production. Ramie textile production discontinued. Although, hemp textile production continued because their hemp textiles are to dedicate to Ise Grand shrine.
The material and tools. You smooth down the hemp fibers with the little bamboo pinches to make them loose.
You splice the fiber and connect by twisting each ends.
Once the thread is ready to wind, a whole length goes under the weight through an opening space in the water(or water with starch??) so that the thread’s fiber stay together when forming a bobbin.
She is doing something over there. Is she watering plants in the studio?
She is watering the dirt floor to keep the moisture in the studio. They do not like when the moisture level gets lower warp threads break more often.
The fabric ages, more you use, it becomes whiter and softer.
The very white fabric is woven by a thread making group member’s grandmother, in late Meiji.