Textiles made by weaving pre-dyed thread are called "orimono". They are made by interlacing two sets of threads, the warp and the weft. Using different thread materials as well as dyeing and weaving techniques, fabrics with a wide variety of color patterns and textures can be made. Conversely, textiles that are woven first before being dyed are called "senshokuhin". Other traditional Japanese textile crafts include "kumihimo" or braiding (traditionally used to decorate clothing and weapons), and "shishu" or embroidery.
History of woven textiles
For many centuries in ancient Japan, hemp was commonly used to weave clothing. Around 2,000 years ago, when many people from China and the Korean peninsula came to settle in Japan, they brought with them the technology of sericulture and silk weaving. These techniques soon spread and developed throughout Japan, and by the Heian period (794-1185), woven silk garments unique to Japan had appeared. Near the end of the 16th century, the use of cotton clothing became widespread, initially being worn by samurai for their uniforms, before spreading to the common folk.
Woven textiles today
Today, machine-woven "orimono" textiles have become more common than hand-woven ones. You can find a wide variety of woven products, including kimonos, everyday clothing, and small accessories.
History of dyed textiles
The technology of dyeing came to Japan together with Buddhism, being brought by settlers from China and the Korean peninsula in the 7th century. Since then, many unique dyeing techniques and dyestuffs have been developed across Japan. These include using extracts from plants like safflower, Japanese madder, and Japanese indigo to make dyestuffs, using paper stencils and resist paste to dye patterns on fabric, and drawing pictures or patterns directly on the fabric using brushes.
Dyed textiles today
From the early modern period, synthetic dyes began to be imported to Japan from Europe. Today, over 99% of the threads and fabrics available in the market are colored using synthetic dyes.
Woven and dyed textiles designated as Traditional Crafts of Japan