Vol.14 Kumejima tsumugi, Okinawa | 沖縄 久米島紬 染

Japan | 日本,Okinawa | 沖縄

December 2018. Kumejima Island, Okinawa. Three hours by boat or 30 minutes by plane from Naha, with a pleasant tropical breeze even in December.

We visited Kumejima Tsumugi workshop, Yumaru-kan, and experienced weaving and dyeing.

まずはスカーフを染めるための色選び。染料は全て久米島にある草木で、天然の草木染で、私は黄色になるヤマモモ&ナカハラクロキを選択。First, we chose colors for dyeing scarves. All dyes are natural herb dyes, using plants and trees found on Kumejima, and I chose yamamomo (Prunus mume var. nipponica) & nakaharakuroki (Prunus nakaharakuroki), which turn out yellow.
絞りのパターンとゴムの留め方を教わり、白抜きしたい箇所を輪ゴムで留めていく。横縞にするため、ソーセージみたいに輪ゴムを留める。The pattern of the shibori and the method of fastening the elastic are taught, and rubber bands are used to fasten the parts where the white is to be cut out. To make horizontal stripes, fasten the rubber bands like sausages.
次は染。煮立った染料に、スカーフをポチャン。そして20分煮出し。綺麗な色に染まってきた!Next comes dyeing. The scarf is popped into the boiling dye. Then, boil it for 20 minutes. The color of the scarf turned out beautiful!
When the dye starts to smear, wash in cold water. Then, hang it out to dry!When the elastic is removed, the tied part is colored out and patterned in white.



Vivid, gentle hues fluttering in the sky. Colors created from the nature of the land are truly beautiful.
The dyeing process this time was a hands-on experience, so we dyed a ready-made scarf, but the original Kumejima silk is dyed after the spun threads are bound according to the “kasuri pattern" drawing.
The black silk, which is representative of Kumejima Tsumugi, is dyed a whopping 100 times! The black pongee, which is representative of Kume-Jima Tsumugi, is dyed a whopping 100 times to produce a unique, deep black color. Just drawing out the “kasuri pattern" according to the drawing is a daunting task, and then dyeing is done 100 times more. It is understandable that Kumejima tsumugi was priced at about 600,000 yen at an antique shop in Naha.