Brought to Japan from the continent in the 5th to 6th century, the Nishijin weaving industry originated with government-operated weaving shops established soon after the city’s founding in 794. After the Onin War happened 1467 to 1477, the weavers returned to the city and organized themselves into work groups in the Nishijin district. Using dyed yarns woven into beautiful brocades, Nishijin weavers employ traditional techniques while continually develop new methods. There is such a variety of Nishijin weaves produced today that it is said there is no woven fabric that Nishijin weavers cannot weave.
“Kyo-yuzen” is a style of textile dyeing that creates colorful patterns of natural scenes on white cloth. Characterized by the brilliant use of color, “kyo-yuzen” dyeing is accomplished by either hand dyeing or stencil dyeing. The technique of hand dyeing was developed in Kyoto during the mid-Edo Period(17th century)by Miyazaki Yuzensai, from whom the name “yuzen” dyeing was taken. Stencil dyeing was developed in Kyoto during the early Meiji Period by Hirose Jisuke. The product of numerous production processes, the beauty and elegance of Kyo-yuzen dyeing have made it one of Japan’s best-known textile arts.