What's Nishijin-ori ??
Nishijin Textile, a general term for Sakizome
(prior dying of thread before cloth is woven) for figured
cloth produced in Kyoto (Nishijin), in which the production
is characterized by a high-volume of various kinds of goods
with a low volume production of each kind.
It has been designated as a national traditional crafts,
since the date of February 2nd, Show year 51 (1976).
Together with the technology and the creativity,
and expressiveness, tremendous effort of work
has continued unbroken since the Heian period
by the weavers of Nishijin.
The manufacturing of textile in Kyoto began around the 5th century, which was before the Heian-kyo was built by Emperor Kanmu.
In addition, the public hall, called “Oribenotsukasa”, is where the managing of the textile of the Imperial court was established with Heian Sengu. Therefore, the craftsmen living in the area of the current Kamigyo-ward, Kuromon, and Chojya-machi were encouraged for its development in sophisticated textile production of twill weave, cotton, and many others.
As the Ohnin War (1467-1477), which split our country into two parts, ended in the Muromachi era, textile craftsmen who were spread out across the country returned to Kyoto.
The production of textile was resumed around this area, where it used to be a territory occupied by a western military troop led by Sozen Yamana during the war.
The town of textile prospered before the war, an area known today as the northern west part of Kyoto and had started being called “Nishijin” around that time.
The name of “Nishi(west)-jin(territory)” was derived from the territory of the western military troop. The site of residence that was owned by Sozen still remains at Itsutsuji-iru Horikawa-dori in Kamigyo-ward.
In order to meet our high quality standards,
there are many prepartory steps that are taken.
For example, certain processes such as the weaving
process are all allocated by division of labor.
Graphic designers, Jacquard card designers, twisted yarns
& heddle industries all work independently but are related
through their interactions with each other.
These independent industries share their skills to create
unparallel products in the region of
what is known as Nishijin.
Thus, the division of labor is highly developed and
utilized in the Nishijin production region.