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“Iyo-Kasuri” Iyo-kasuri, along with Kurume and Bingo-kasuri, three main kasuri in Japan

Kasuri () is a Japanese word for fabric that has been woven with fibers dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the fabric. It is an ikat technique. The nature of ikat is that the design can look blurred, hence the name kasuri, which derives from the verb kasuru (to graze, to brush against; to take a percentage (from a person's salary, etc.); to write something (e.g. calligraphy) with little ink, i.e. in a blurry or scratchy manner) and is related to the intransitive verb kasureru (to touch lightly upon something, to scratch, to graze; to be blurred, to become scratchy, to become hoarse, to become husky).[1]:1 Kasuri can be ikat of both the weft and the warp. The threads can be a solid color or resist-dyed, and the weft thread is resist-dyed in a specific pattern and dyed with indigo to form a picture when the cloth is woven (known as e-gasuri).

Classification of kasuri[edit]

Kasuri fragment from an early 20th-century kimono using the E-gasuri technique to create a picture of sparrows. This is also an iro gasuri in that it uses several colors

Kasuri is classified variously:

1. By the direction in which the tied-dyed yarn is applied.

  1. Tate gasuri in which only the warp is tied prior to setting the threads onto the loom.
  2. Yoko gasuri in which only the weft is tied before weaving.
  3. Tate-yoko gasuri where both the warp and weft are died to form double ikat.[1]:7

2. By colour.

  1. Blue Kasuri. Kon gasuri in which the white resist is on an indigo blue ground.
  2. White kasuri. Shiro gasuri which is the inverse of kon gasuriand the background is white.
  3. Brown kasuri. Chia gasuri in which brown is used instead of indigo.

d) Iro gasuri'un which several colors are used.'

3. By technique. There are many techniques used to create kasuri. The cloth is classified with different names depending on the method used.

  1. Tegukuri gasuri describes the tying of the yarn by hand.
  2. Surikomi gasuri is a cloth in which the dye colors are applied directly to the bundles of stretched yarn with a spatula. This is most frequently used in the iro gasuri (clored kasuri).
  3. Itajime gasuri is created by placing the arranged yarns between two engraved plated. The plates are bolted tightly together so that when immersed in the dye, the pressure of the raised points act as a resist.
  4. Orijime gasuri. This is a complex weave in which a strong warp is set on a special loom. The weft is beaten hard before dying resulting in a fine dotted pattern. The silk kasuri of Amamioshima and the ramie kasuri of Miyakojima, Okinawa are noted for this technique.
  5. Hogushi kasuri In this technique a warp is set onto the loom and coarsely woven with a temporary yarn and then printed. After printing the cloth is tied and wound onto the back beam of the loom. After threading the cloth is woven with a plain weft, the coarse temporary weft being cut as it goes.
  6. Kushi-oshi gasuri in which the warp is placed on a special printing board and printed with a block printing technique. After printing the dyed warp on a loom it is woven.
  7. Fukiyose gasuri in these cloths the threads are dyed with a dip-dye technique.
  8. Bokashi gasuri is made by twisting or plaiting the yarn in a way that parts of the yarn create their own resist.

4. By place of production.

5. By design

Japanese ikats are generally weft ikats or double ikats.

Further reading[edit]

  • Japanese Ikat Weaving, The Techniques of Kasuri, Jun and Noriko Tomita. Routledge & Kegan Paul.ISBN 0-7100-9043-9

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tomito J & N. Kasuri: Japanese Ikat Weaving, The Techniques of Kasuri. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982. ISBN 0-7100-9043-9.