top of page

Kimono Silk Bolt

I love receiving deliveries from Japan

Kimono Silk
Hand painted kimono silk - Peony pattern

Recently I've been buying vintage Japanese kimono silk bolts. Last week I received this beautiful bolt of hand painted kimono silk, the level of craftsmanship is incredible. When this was originally made it sold for ¥550,000

Yuzen Resist Dyeing

With a dyeing technique invented in 17th century Kyoto, a mixture of rice paste and soybeans has been used to draw delicate free-hand linear motifs on white silk. An artist squeezes the paste through a funnel-shaped container much like a small pastry bag (below left). After this paste resist dries, he paints the areas on both sides of the lines with brushes, using the desired dye colors. Delicate shaded effects can be created, and the rice paste outlines prevent the dye from seeping into surrounding areas. Even broad expanses of the background color are dyed in this manner -- by hand painting. The most characteristic features of kimono ornamentation made in this way are subtle color gradations and narrow, flowing light lines that outline the motifs. 

For areas of wide, regular repeats, artists may apply their rice paste through intricate stencils with squeegees. Then after the paste has dried, they apply their colored dyes with brushes. When all of the painting is finished, the worker steams the kimono silk to set the dyes, and washes out the rice paste.  Because of the time involved and the artistry required, yuzen dyed kimono have always commanded high prices. They were often commissioned by special clients.


Giving vintage fabrics new life. I will make a couple of scarves from this bolt, everyone will be different because of the hand painted design. I will also make a Japanese Knot Bag.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page