The Making of Oishii Furoshiki – KAMAWANU - Japanese Tenugui Towel


The Making of Oishii Furoshiki

Kamawanu's small furoshiki series "Oishii Furoshiki" debuted over 10 years ago this year!
This furoshiki, used by many, is also made using a special dyeing method.

This is a report on a tour of a factory that produces furoshiki cloth, which is dyed by a technique called "te-nassen" (hand printing). Let's take a look at the process of making "delicious and cute" furoshiki.

Hand printing is a technique often used for traditional handicrafts, and is named as such because it is carefully dyed by hand. It has its origins in "Yuzen Dyeing," which spread during the Edo period (around 1700 A.D.).

In the Meiji period, kata yuzen, which uses stencils and chemical dyes, developed. The katagami was further shifted to "silk-screening katagami," and the current dyeing method was established.

Designs are divided into "color-by-color" and screen stencils are made. In the past, silk threads were used as mesh, hence the name "silk," but today p
olyester, nylon, and stainless steel are used as mesh materials.

Stencil paper for dyeing background

Within a single frame, there are enough patterns for four delicious furoshiki.

Stencil for dyeing the main body of “Peach”.

<Strike off>
Using the ready-made molds, test dyeing are made with the color that has been blended. The same dyeing, washing, steaming, and drying processes as for products are performed to confirm the colors.

Although there is a fixed recipe for mixing dyes, even slight differences in climate or formulas can change the color, so the experience and knowledge of the craftsmen are utilized in making adjustments.

Prepared dye

A miniature version of a steamer is used for the mass sample.

Here's a strike off sample of "Momo" (peach); B's peach is a bit bluer and cooler. We decided on A!

The next section focuses on the 'dyeing' process.

The factory has four 25-meter textile printing tables in a row, and 100 meters is one lot for dyeing.Unlike the process of pour-dyeing, all the fabric is spread out and the pattern is applied to each pattern one at a time.

<Fabric stretching process>
There are four 25-meter textile printing tables lined up in a row, and dyeing work is carried out with 100 meters as one lot.

The dyeing tables have adhesive properties, and are carefully applied to the fabric to prevent wrinkles from forming.

<Dyeing Process>
Using a silk screen mold, the craftsman applies dye to one panel at a time with a squeegee (large spatula). It is a very intensive work to dye one 25m long textile dyeing table for a number of tables at a time.

Also, one pattern is needed for each color, and each color is dyed, dried, and dyed repeatedly.

The "onions" being worked on are dyed in light colors first, then the blue background color is layered. It is extremely difficult to lay the pattern exactly on top of each other in the same position.

The dyed fabric is peeled off from the textile printing table and hung to dry on the ceiling.

The dough is steamed by passing it through hot steam.
Steaming allows the dye to fix in the fabric and improves the coloring.

Excess dye is removed by rinsing in water, and the fabric is then washed with soaping (detergent) to enhance the colors.

After drying, the fabric is straightened and processed to improve its texture.The After inspecting for any defects in dyeing, the fabric is completed.

After the dyed fabric is cut and sewn, "Oishii Furoshiki" is finally completed!
This is a different technique from the pouring-dyeing process, but it too is made with a great deal of time and effort.

Kamawanu's furoshiki is dyed in a method also called "Yuzen Penetrating Dyeing," in which the dye permeates the fabric and the difference between the two sides of the cloth is not noticeable. This dyeing process, which requires more time than usual, is done with the skill of skilled craftsmen.

Did you enjoy the factory tour?

Oishii Furoshiki is now in its 10th year, and we thank you very much for your long patronage.

We will continue to make our products to make your lunch time more enjoyable and colorful.