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Kyoukechi Page

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below are some of the many classes I offer on this subject
Kyoukechi fish weeds-.jpg


complex clamp resist




Itajime simply means clamp resist dyeing in Japanese. Quite often fabric is folded or pleated several time and then pinched between two boards and the exposed portions dipped into dye to stain them. Typically, this creates kaleidoscopic patterning as seen to the right, below.
  Kyoukechi normally refers to an older approach in which a great many mirror-image carved boards are stacked, with a layer or two of fabric between, clamped, and then immersed in dye. The dyed flows between the pinched sections of the carved boards to dye the exposed cloth. This technique harkens all the way back to the Nara Period, at which time a great many colors were used. More recently, during the Edo and Meiji Eras, kyoukechi was used in combination with safflower-based dyed, benibana, to dye very light-weight silk used as linings in undergarments, below left.

a few versions of kyoukechi


kyoukechi dochuugi-.jpg

Above is shown a type of under kimono called a dounuki. Dounuki means body removed, that is, the portion of the kimono not normally visible when worn has been replaced with lighter-weight silk to reduced bulk and expense. In this case, that lining silk has been dyed using kyoukechi clamp techniques along with safflower and turmeric dyes. Safflower on its own produces a flamingo pink and when combined with the yellow of turmeric, we achieve this classic Japanese vermilion color.



Kyuokechi lends itself nicely to dyeing with vat indigo. Pegs are used to block access to some areas of the carved blocks preventing dyeing until the pegs are removed.  This allows the dyer to orchestrate a wide range of shades, bring extra life to the finished piece.

  Above is the completed cotton textile. Below is a shot of the fabric as it is being peeled away from the block.

kyoukechi rabbits clamp-.jpg


itajime plum tall-.jpg

Itajime means pinched between boards. Most often just two boards, and geometric, as shown above. The sample to the left, the rabbit, had twelve layers of cotton clamped between only two carved boards. The sample above was folded as a scout might fold a flag, but in this case as wooden shape was placed between each layer and pegs were used to control color flow.

related products

kyoukechi related products

Below are products I find that I often use in association with sarasa
al workshops

all workshop topics

Below is a full listing of the workshops and programs I offer. New ones are continually being added. Suggestions are welcome!