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TOSHIHARU HISATSUNE
TEXTILE ART / KAGA YUZEN DYEING
Hand painted, Kaga* Yuzen dyeing is a technique used for dyeing silk fabrics which has existed for over 300 years. It is mainly used in the design of traditional Japanese clothing, such as kimono. Mr. Hisatsune works on kimono designs, but also designs interiors for modern rooms. He uses the Yuzen painting technique to make products other than kimono, painting on a variety of different surfaces, including wood, rock and Japanese paper washi. He is expanding the application of the Kaga Yuzen artistic dyeing technique to items used in our daily lives, while at the same time preserving the technique’s original ethos and beauty.
*Kaga is a former region name in Japan. Kanazawa, situated in the coast of the Sea of Japan was once the capital of the Kaga.

PRODUCT CONCEPT

Generally, the Kaga Yuzen dyeing process is used for Japanese traditional clothes, such as kimono. While there are a variety of motifs and patterns used to represent the four seasons, sakura is one of the most typical, but striking, motifs used for depicting the spring. We have chosen this most Japanese of all motifs as the pattern for our textile frame. Enjoy this beautiful Oriental textile as an adornment for your home.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

Yuzen is a technique which combines both dyeing and painting

Hand painted Yuzen dyed kimonos are amongst the most magnificent and luxurious of kimono designs. Fabrics with these paintings have been worn and admired for over 300 years. Originally, they were only worn by women in high class Samurai families or female members of the imperial family. Nowadays, they are mainly worn at weddings and coming of age celebrations. Yuzen items are technically dyed, but since their design is more like a painting, they really are unique amongst dyed products.

You need more than a brush for Yuzen paintings

The Yuzen dyeing technique is not just about painting with a brush. Artisans also need another special material to paint with. If you paint cloth with a dye, the colors blur and run together: you cannot paint a cloth the way you paint a picture on a piece of paper. Artisans use a paste resist to prevent the dyes mixing together (bosen-nori). This makes the outline borders on the cloth distinct, enabling the artist to paint the pattern inside.

Hand painted Yuzen dyeing starts with the designs themselves. Artisans need a sense of design, colors and color application techniques to perfect their brushstrokes. Mr. Hisatsune has spent 40 years on his art. This experience, combined with his skill and sense of design, makes this superb piece of yuzen dyeing possible.

  • Here is a picture of Mr. Hisatsune’s daughter’s coming of age celebration. The design of the sakura Yuzen textile frame comes from the sleeves of the kimono.

  • Take a closer look at the white line between the colors. This line is one of the characteristics of hand painted yuzen dyeing. A special paste resist (bosen-nori) is used on this white line to keep the dyes from blurring together.

  • This is how paste resist is applied. The paste is pushed out from the paste bag by pinching, to outline the patterns and designs required. The artisan applies the paste in a similar way to drawing a picture.

PRODUCTS BY TOSHIHARU HISATSUNE