Obi tsuzure

This is a Nagoya obi, which is woven with “tsume tsuzure” technique. Tsume means weavers’ nails. This technique has a long history from two thousands years ago. Weavers put a design beneath warp threads and weave weft threads along it using their nails. Their nails must be filed down like shavings of dried bonito. They can weave only a few inches a day, and so it takes very long time to weave one obi using this technique.

Shirasu Masako (1910-1998), a famous Japanese antiquer and writer, wrote in “Kimono Bi (Beauty of kimono)” about tuzure technique as follows:
I should explain that tsuzure is one of embroideries by weaving machines. Weavers lace weft threads and scratch them by their nails point by point. Old Japanese people might imitate ancient Egyptian fabrics or overseas tapestries at first.

Today I tied this tsuzure obi with a komon, which is colorfully dyed with tie-dying technique from Taisho period (1912-1925) or early Showa period (1925-1945). The obi seemed to fit the kimono very well.


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