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Roketsu Dyeing

Overview

The elaborate and opulent designs and patterns and colors of Japanese textiles are what have made them world famous. Traditional Japanese textile design is quite unique and immediately recognizable. Roketsu dyeing is unique to Kyoto, and is a traditional way of cloth dyeing in which wax is used to block dyes in an area finely drawn by hand on cloth.

However, you don't have to be an artist to create your very own work of art! At our Rokestu Dyeing Experience you will be instructed by craftspeople with over 50 years experience, utilizing techniques developed by artisans working with kimonos. You can choose to create a handkerchief, bandanna, t-shirt, or noren (Japanese curtain). Then, select your design from the hundreds of different stencils on offer, from traditional Japanese scenes, to the latest anime characters. Of course, budding artists may also create their own designs.

Dip your brush in the hot wax and slowly trace the outline of the stencil onto the material.  Don't worry; you will get a trial run first! After you have finished tracing your design, the fun really begins.  Our partner in Kyoto, Yamamoto Roketsu dyeing studio, is the only place in Japan where visitors can experience the entire roketsu process.

The next part of the process if the dying itself.  Time to suit up - staff will put you in protective clothing so you can stir your piece in a vat of natural indigo dye. The last part of the process if to iron the material - who would have thought you would be ironing on your holiday! The wax you painted on stops the dye from dyeing that part of the material, so as the material dries you can see your design finally come to life.

When:
Yamamoto Roketsu Dyeing is open all year round.

Where:
Yamamoto Roketsu Dyeing Studio is situated in the Nishikyogoku district of Kyoto, a short taxi ride from anywhere in central Kyoto.

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Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009