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Beni Itajime, Mrs Yoshimura

Beni Itajime

Part 1 of a 3 parts training trip to Japan by Tinctoria We where very fortunate to discover and practise a near extinct reserve technique: Beni Itajime. While the “classic” Itajime technique using two wood block to apply pressure on fabric to create a resist while dyeing is a very common technique nowadays, it’s much more sophisticated version using engraved wood blocks would have all but disappeared without Mrs Yoshimura’s determination and vision. Her family had been the unique depositary of that exclusive technique outside of Kyoto, and she made sure to keep it alive and share her knowledge. She toured us through her treasured collection of kimonos with Beni Itajime linings. It could sound quite odd to us westerners to keep such a fabulous fabric where the…