What is the Kaga Yuzen?
Kaga Yuzen is a silk-dyeing technique practised in Ishikawa with roots as long as 500 years ago. Using five basic colours called Kaga-gosai — indigo, crimson, dark green, ocher, and purple — designs are drawn on paper and then transferred to white silk. At present, fabric using this dyeing technique is used to create kimonos, fans, handkerchiefs, and other types of apparel.
The history of Kaga Yuzen silk dyeing
This dyeing technique traces its roots back to the 17th century when more intricate patterns and designs on fabric were introduced. Yuzensai Miyazaki, a known designer and dyer from Kyoto’s Tarodaya dyeing house, is said to have contributed greatly to the development and popularity of this practice.
In 1712, Yuzensai travelled from Kyoto to Kanazawa, earning the favour of feudal lords in the Kaga district for his work. This pushed other designers and dyers to adopt the method, leading to its fame up to the present.