Nishijin Ori(西陣織)

Traditional crafts

1.What is Nishijin-ori?

Nishijin-ori is a general term for “Sakizome crest fabrics produced in Kyoto (Nishijin), which is characterized by high-mix low-volume production.”

Nishijin-ori Oriya is striving for imagination and expressiveness to create excellent designs, in addition to the high-tech refinement (renma) that has been accumulated continuously since the Heian dynasty.


Where the western army was located

After the Onin War (1467-1477), which was a battle that divided Japan into two during the Muromachi period, the textile craftsmen who had been scattered around the country returned to Kyoto, and during the war, the Nishijin camp led by Yamana Sozen was placed. We will resume making textiles around the time it was being made.

It was around this time that the area of ​​northwestern Kyoto, which had prospered as a textile town before the war, began to be called “Nishijin”, and because it is the site of the Western army, it is called “Nishijin”.

Even now, the remains of Sozen’s mansion remain when entering Itsutsuji Nishi, Horikawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku.

Textile making began in Kyoto around the 5th century, before Heiankyo was built by Emperor Kanmu.

In addition, a government office called “Oribe no Tsukasa”, who managed the textiles of the court along with the transfer of capital to the Heian period, was set up. It is said to have developed as a result of encouraging the production of high-class court textiles.

After the middle of the Heian period, these government-owned textile workshops declined, but the craftsmen gathered and lived in the eastern Otonericho area of ​​Oribe Tsukasa, and were free to leave the court’s control. Started making textiles.

Textiles called “Omiyajin no Aya” and “Omiya Silk” were made.

In addition, he researched the twill weaving technique passed down from Song and developed his own Tang dynasty.

It was useful as a heavy woven fabric suitable for the decoration of shrines and temples.

A government-owned textile workshop during the Heian period

The origin of Nishijin-ori dates back to the Kofun period.

Around the 5th and 6th centuries, the Hata clan, who came from the continent, settled in the country of Yamashiro, that is, around Uzumasa, Kyoto, and introduced the techniques of sericulture and silk fabrics.

After the Asuka period and the Nara period, when the capital was moved to Heiankyo, the imperial court organized the craftsmen (Takumi) who inherited the silk fabric technology under the government office called Oribe Tsukasa, and made high-class textiles such as twill and cotton. Was produced.

So to speak, the state-owned textile industry was run.

It is said that weaving craftsmen gathered around the current Kamichojamachi, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City to form a town called twill weaving.

From the middle of the Heian period onward, these government-owned textile workshops gradually declined.

The tag of Ritsuryo politics began to loosen, and the craftsmen began to run textile pits as their job.

They also gathered and lived in Omiyajincho near Oribecho, and during the Kamakura period they produced prized textiles called “Omiyajin no Aya” or “Omiya Silk”.

In addition, we have always worked on making excellent textiles by incorporating new technologies transmitted from the continent.

During the Muromachi period, we organized something like a trade union called Otoneriza, and while responding to the demand from the built-in dormitory of the imperial court (Uchikura no Tsukasa), we opened public houses and samurai houses to the public. I also accepted orders.

The origin of the name is the Western Army headquarters of the Onin War

However, in the middle of the Muromachi period, the Onin War broke out in the city of Kyoto, where the East and West forces fought.

Since the column lasted for 11 years, many craftsmen escaped the war and moved to Sakai, Izumi, and the textile industry in Tonerimachi was destroyed.

However, when the war subsided, they returned to Kyoto and started the textile industry near Hakuun Village (currently near Imadegawa Omiya, Shinmachi, Kamigyo-ku) near the original location and Omiya Imadegawa, which was the headquarters of the Western Army during the war. It has resumed.

The name Nishijin-ori is derived from the site of the Nishijin army, that is, the place name Nishijin.

The textile companies around Omiya have revived the Oyajinza, and by the time of the Muromachi period, this Oyajinza was recognized as representing the traditional silk textile industry in Kyoto.

-Making a representative textile in Japan with Monori technology

It was also around this time that it became possible to weave colored patterns and patterns using dyed threads first, incorporating the technology of Takahata, which was introduced from the continent.

In this way, the foundation of Nishijin-ori, a high-class cotton fabric made from crest weave, was laid, and Nishijin was established as its production center.

Nishijin-ori and its production area, Nishijin, were recognized by the imperial court and were protected by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and others. After that, they continued to develop excellent textiles by incorporating the techniques of China and Ming.

At the same time as being a representative of Japan’s silk fabric industry, it has also become a representative industry of Kyoto.

In the Edo period, when the world became stable and the culture of tradesmen emerged, Nishijin, a production center of high-class textiles, became even more prosperous.

A textile town lined with large thread wholesalers and textiles was formed, and not only high-class textiles but also crepes and stripes were woven, and the momentum was overwhelming.

Overcome predicament and succeed in modernization

However, after the middle of the Edo period, Nishijin also suffered.

The world became unstable due to repeated hunger, and demand decreased due to the ban on sumptuary law by the Shogunate.

In addition, I met the landlord twice, and the birth of new silk fabric production areas such as Tango and Kiryu was also a pain.

The move of the capital to Tokyo in the Meiji era also lost the momentum of the entire city of Kyoto.

However, Nishijin, who has been active in introducing advanced technologies overseas for a long time, quickly responded to the opportunity for civilization.

We dispatched human resources to France and other countries, and succeeded in modernization by incorporating technologies such as jacquard textiles.

-Technology evolution, refinement of design, development of a wide range of applications

In the Taisho and Showa eras, at the same time as promoting the popularization of high-class silk fabrics, we also strived to improve traditional hand-woven techniques and refine designs and designs, ensuring our position as a synonym for the high-class textile industry in Japan. I said.

Currently, we are working to expand the use of Nishijin-ori products, producing excellent products that are not limited to traditional obi and kimono, but also for materials such as neckties, shawls, and Japanese accessories.

So-called interior products such as wall hangings account for the second largest production value after obi, and we are also working to popularize Western-style kimonos with a novel feel.




Latitude Nishiki




Ventilation (normal)




⑪Kasuri Ori


Nishijin Mountains is a group of small and medium-sized enterprises

The shipment value of Nishijin-ori will reach 30 billion yen in 2018.

And it can be seen that the Nishijin production area is a group of small and medium-sized enterprises where there are 300 vendors to bake.

The number of facilities is 2,300 for power looms, 900 for hand weaving, and about 20,000 people are directly or indirectly engaged in Nishijin weaving.

Shipment value of Nishijin woven products (2017): 30,771 million yen

Number of Nishijin weaving manufacturers: 298

Number of looms: 3,092

There seems to be.

The Nishijin production area is where the social division of labor has developed.

Many preparatory steps are required to reach the weaving stairs.

In the Nishijin production area, all of these processes are carried out by division of labor, such as when the machine is used at the weaving stage.

Therefore, companies such as designers, design pattern paper industry, twisting industry (nenshigyo), yarn dyeing industry, warping industry, heddle industry (sokougyo), and rearranging processing industry are independently operating companies. ..

These traders exist in the so-called Nishijin area in a mixed manner with the weavers and share their duties. (About 200 companies, 600 people)

In this way, the Nishijin production area is where the social division of labor has developed to a high degree.

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価格:11000円(税込、送料無料) (2020/8/28時点)

2.Working process

Planning / pattern making process

1.Design (Zuan)

The most important process for Nishijin-ori, which is a yarn-dyed crest fabric. I will add a new feeling to the traditional design and draw it.

2.Crest design drawing (Moni Shozu)

It corresponds to the design drawing of the woven fabric, and the design is enlarged and copied on the graph paper, and the texture to be woven is painted on the graph paper.

3.Crest carving (Monhori)

Based on the crest design drawing, a piano-type engraving machine is used to make a hole in a strip-shaped crest paper measuring 33 cm in length and 4.5 cm in width to command the raising and lowering of the warp threads.

4.Computer graphics

Today, the processes after the crest design district map are computerized. The pattern is made by computer graphics, and the textile information is instructed to the computer jacquard with a floppy disk.

Raw material preparation process

5.Burning thread

Nishijin-ori also has woven fabrics with various textures, and it is a process to adjust the thickness of the threads by combining several thin threads and to apply a special twist to the threads to create the texture.

6.Thread dyeing (Itozome)

One of the important processes along with the design for Nishijin-ori,
which is a yarn-dyed crest fabric.
It must be dyed in the color specified by the orimoto.

7.Threading (Itokuri)

The dyed thread is in a skein state. This is the work of winding it around the thread frame so that it can be easily handled in the warping and weft winding processes.


Nishijin-ori has a small number of 3,000 warp threads and a large number of 8,000 warp threads. Warping is to prepare the required length and number of warp threads.

9.Mochi (rice cake)

Nishijin-ori’s tillage has been devised in various ways to bring about changes in “vertical” through the two processes of “kukuri” and “ladder”.

Machine preparation process


In order to weave a woven fabric, the warp threads must be pulled up in order to open a general path through which the weft threads pass. The sequel is a device that pulls up the warp threads based on the instructions of Jacquard.

11.Jacquard and crest paper

Information (design and organization) of textiles put on a pattern paper or floppy disk is taken out by jacquard and transmitted to the loom through the tradition. So to speak, the jacquard is the heart of Monori.

Weaving process

12.Binding machine (spelled)

It is a weaving method that expresses the pattern with a unique nail scraping regardless of the action of jacquard. It is one of the most popular and historical techniques in Nishijin-ori.


Woven fabrics with a unique hand-woven texture are woven by hand. It is distinguished from a loose machine in that it uses a jacquard.

14.Power loom

Nishijin is introducing new scientific advances every day on the basis of long-standing traditional techniques such as the use of power looms and the use of floppy disks in addition to the conventional pattern paper.

Finishing process

15.Velvet line cutting

Velvet doubles the warp threads and weaves wires at regular intervals. After weaving, if you cut the warp on the wire, the warp will fluff and become line-cut velvet.

16.Arrangement (Seirikakou)

Some Nishijin fibers go through a process of rearranging to give a unique texture by passing through steam after weaving like a garment.

Source: See Nishijin Textile Center

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価格:99000円(税込、送料無料) (2020/8/28時点)

3.Traditional craftsman

Shuichi Nojiri

The charm of hand-woven obi, which is woven by warp and weft

Mr. Nojiri is a craftsman who represents Nishijin’s hand weaving and is a nationally certified “traditional craftsman”.

He started his apprentice service at the age of 16 and learned the techniques taught by his seniors, and has produced countless masterpieces here.

This road has already been 63 years.

While still working as an active craftsman, he talks and teaches Nishijin to those who visit here.

At the factory, where the sounds of warm weaving overlap and resonate with each other, obi and kimono are hand-woven using a jacquard machine obtained from France in the Meiji era.

It is also a remnant of civilization.

Nishijin-ori weaves dyed colorful silk threads into delicate patterns, but before that, the work process can be roughly divided into those who draw designs, those who make design pattern paper, those who twist threads, those who dye. Over 20 are left to each expert.

Trust is everything because it is a completely advanced division of labor.

The final process is “weaving”.

Many of the Nishijin obis have a bitter color that makes you feel lonely, but there are also bright obis that are woven using a lot of colored threads.

Recently, there are various thread materials and pattern designs.

The more complicated the colors and patterns, the harder it is to weave by hand, and how long does it take to weave 10 cm? It’s only when you see that it takes time and effort to be daunting.

“This is a silk Tang weave that is the same as the pattern of the Edo period. Do not weave the old pattern of 1000 years ago or the new pattern that people like today. Only hand weaving is good, and machine weaving is not bad. However, since hand-woven fabrics are light and thin, both the band and the kimono are comfortable to wear. Everyone should wear light and thin clothes. The characteristic of hand-woven fabrics is that there are no extra threads on the back. Even if you use a lot of silk, it’s fluffy and light. “

Mr. Nojiri sits on a large loom. With a simple stool with only horizontal plates, one foot is always stepping on the foot plate.

While skillfully threading the weft by hand, tap the crossbar with force to make the thread into a cloth.

“If you sit down well, you can’t weave. This way, you can arrange it neatly.” Weave it lovingly and firmly.

First of all, the obi needs a sketch.

A professional craftsman draws a sketch, and another craftsman redraws it into something like a blueprint of a grid, and drops the color of the thread on paper.

In the old days, it was replaced with something like a paper score and passed on to the jacquard machine, but now it is sent with disc data.

That said, the mechanism is that the thread that is instructed to go up according to the pattern is just raised, so threading the weft is a skilled manual work of human beings.

A wooden stick for threading, called a shuttle, is passed through to the right and left, and hand-woven while stacking threads one by one.

The obi, which is woven softly with air in this way, is surprisingly soft and comfortable to tie.

So don’t tighten a really good silk sash.

Things to tie gently.

“The obi and tie are’tied’. If it’s thin and soft, there’s no need to’tighten’. There’s always a’obi fee’ at the time of delivery. The obi is long. Tie the ties of people. Tie the ties of both families. “Tie” is a word. “

It doesn’t have to be an obi, it can be a string or a mizuhiki.

Since ancient times, Japan has spun a peaceful “culture of knots”.

How did Mr. Nojiri start this job?

“I started this job to eat. I’ll never have a problem if I get a job in my hand. I remembered it hard as an apprentice. I did it to eat, so I don’t like anything. Well, if you don’t like it, you can’t continue this far. “

And he talks about the charm of Japanese clothes.

“The only thing that has a beautiful back view is Japanese kimono. I don’t want to tie an obi and show it. It’s an island country, surrounded by the sea, and there are four seasons. Japanese people can love nature. It’s a kimono that expresses that. Even if you lose the war and are invaded. It’s a miracle that the folk costume and the imperial family remained in Japan.

Well, history, clothing and culture are always connected.

He says it would be great if the hand-woven technique could continue forever.

“Some young people want to do it, but now it’s hard to raise one craftsman to full-fledged.”

A wonderful hand-woven technique and its work that must not be interrupted.

If we can protect the most gentle Japanese culture of weaving and tying silk.

First of all, let’s touch on the wonderfulness of hand-woven obi and know its value.

Regain a relaxing time and enjoy the happiness of a long-lasting “knot”.

As a beautiful Japanese in the country of all things.


The challenge to overseas by Mr. Mao Hosoo (“Hosoo”, President and CEO) began in 2005.

However, although he exhibited a Japanese-patterned chair at an international trade fair in Paris, there were no business talks.

It was a bitter experience, but there was also a harvest.

As a result of visiting the booths of textile manufacturers exhibiting at the trade fair and investigating the characteristics of each manufacturer’s textiles, the Nishijin weaving technology that weaves foil and uses strongly twisted threads is rare. I knew that I could make a difference by making use of it.

We also decided on a targeted strategy to solve the price problem.

Originally, Nishijin-ori is a high-class material that has been used for upper class costumes such as aristocrats and samurai.

“Let’s make a woven Ferrari,” he aimed at the high-end layer.

Eventually the turning point came.

When the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry exhibited it at an exhibition held in New York, it caught the eye of a well-known architectural firm, Peter Marino, and led to an order.

It was “for the interior of Christian Dior stores.”

Marino’s design is novel.

An abstract pattern with unevenness that looks like melted lead.

I was confused by the completely different design that weaves Kacho Fugetsu, but the craftsmen also showed their will to do it, and I was able to finish it brilliantly.

This is the moment when a unique material was born by the fusion of different kinds.

Expand business with various collaborations

New challenges were also created, which led to innovation.

The width of the woven fabric for kimono is 40 cm, but Marino requested that weav it with a width of 150 cm so that it could be used for a wide range of purposes, so we developed a loom from scratch.

Weaving slowly and carefully Returning to the idea of ​​the 18th century, we created a low-speed loom that can handle delicate materials.

On the other hand, the speed from the arrival of the design to the shape of the fabric is fast.

A unique program takes up to 10 days to complete what would normally take a month.

We will respond to corrections in a day or two.

After that, we received orders from Chanel and Louis Vuitton for interior use.

Orders have been received from the hotel industry, and orders have continued to increase by 20% annually.

We also provide materials in fields such as fashion, art, and products.

In the fashion field, Mihara Yasuhiro made a woven fabric into a suit and received high praise at the Paris Collection.

In the product field, collaborations with various companies are progressing, such as the use of Nishijin-ori, which is made of resin-processed Leica camera body.

Preparing for the next when things are going well

When the trade fair didn’t produce results, I was almost at a loss. However, if you stop halfway through because it is painful, you cannot share your dreams and vision for the future with your employees.

The reason why I was able to keep my original intention while being opposed to launching a new business within the company was because I was confident in Nishijin-ori’s technical capabilities gained from overseas experience and I was confident that I would succeed.

“Companies are actually in the biggest pinch when they are in good shape,” says Mao. It’s important to start the challenge for the next era while you’re doing well.

Hosoo is unique in the world of Nishijin-ori, but in Kyoto, the number of young business owners aiming to expand traditional industries overseas is increasing, mainly in their 30s and 40s.

Mr. Masataka, the eldest son in charge of the new project, also said, “Nishijin-ori is more fresh and attractive than the overseas brands that I have been around since I was a child. I want to expand overseas in a different way.” It is said that there is.

There are five looms in the company, and the challenge is to respond to future increases in orders. We are considering cooperation with the Tango region, which is the production center of silk fabrics.

“Our goal is” more than textile. “We will work hard together with motivated craftsmen to create new value that will please people around the world through Nishijin-ori.”

Hosoo’s Tayu Minaki challenge continues.



The pride of the ancestors who once left the West Jin and returned to the West Jin to rebuild without disrupting the declining industry is immeasurable.

Then, instead of staying in Japan, we sent out to the world, and finally a brand that was evaluated by companies around the world was built.

It can be said that the team has been built with a relationship of trust, with many processes supported by many craftsmen and each without shaking the professionals.

Tradition is good as it used to be, it is not something that is inherited as it is, but something that tradition evolves.

I think that the future growth of traditional crafts and Japan depends on the younger generation.

As with me, the world where it is correct to complete one job for a lifetime is over, and the ever-evolving human resources and companies will continue to survive.

Evolution is change.

However, there are things that are indispensable for young people to evolve.

It’s a predecessor.

It is absolutely essential that the environment and will of the ancestors to inherit the tradition while adapting to new changes.

Once again, there may be an increasing number of young people who can’t think of it until now, such as “I’m not motivated”, “I’m not listening to people at all”, and “Don’t talk to me”. Is a change.

If we spend the same time and environment, we cannot deny each other’s coexistence.

Then, we have no choice but to create an environment where each other can seriously work toward one goal.

Trusting the other person is still the most important thing, both now and in the past.

“I admit my failure”, “I admit and praise the other person’s trivial good points in words”, “Tell me that I am wrong if I am wrong”, “I will help you if I am in trouble”, ” I’m grateful for any trivial matter. ”I think there are many things to think about, but it is most important for the team to solve these problems one by one, not to mention the technology.

Through such traditional crafts, I hope to convey what teamwork is and what a relationship of trust is!

I want you to continue to run as a pioneer of Japanese traditional crafts as an industry, even though there are declining traditional crafts.

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価格:580円(税込、送料無料) (2020/8/28時点)

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Thank you for reading to the end (^^) /

From the next time, I would like to post freely.

Let’s have a good trip!