Friday, October 7, 2016

Ojiya Chijimi - Snow Fabric

In 2009, UNESCO intangible cultural heritage objects added Ojiya Chiijimi fabric, which was the first time Japanese textiles had been given this status. This fabric technique had been classified as an intangible cultural heritage object by Japan since 1955.  


The production of this fabric must meet specific conditions, including hand picking the ramie plant stalks, picking the fibers apart with fingernails, fastening the threads together, and hand weaving the fabric on back-tension looms.  After the fabric is taken off the looms, it is washed in hot water and massaged with the feet.  Finally, the fabric is laid out on the snow for ten to twenty days, where the sun and snow bleach it. 




All of this takes place in  the Ojiya region of Niigata Prefecture, known for its heavy snowfall and wide open spaces.  This tradition of fabric making goes back to the 17th century and is used today to make summer kimonos.




6 comments:

  1. That is an amazing process, massaging with feet, sun and snow bleached, wow!

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  2. I saw the part where the stalk is picked apart, twisted togheter and woven into cloth at a show of Japanese traditional crafts held in Tokyo. What a lot of time consuming work. The result is of course the most exquisite fabric, though.

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  3. Hi Pamela,wow that was very interesting and amazing,a lot of work goes into making it.

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  4. Don't you wonder how this process was developed? Amazing. You bring us such interesting information about the Japanese culture.
    xx, Carol

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  5. Oh that fabric must be so light and soft and have a lovely "hand". thanks for sharing your research--fascinating...hugs, Julierose

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  6. This is fascinating. I don't envy the amount of work but the result is stunning. I guess it's the older generation that produces the fabric; I hope the craft doesn't die out!

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