TOKYO Teshigoto

Let’s Dye a Placemat Using Ise Pattern Paper in this ‘Dye-Works Experience’!

Workshop Experience

– Contents: Dyeing Experience (Placemat)
– Participation Fee: 5,000 JPY (incl. tax) *Material costs included
– Time required: About 120 minutes (Depending on the individual pace)
– How to make a reservation: Please call us at the number below until 2 weeks prior to the experience, and let us know your ①  Contact Information ②  Preferred Date and Time ③  Number of Participants.
– Remarks:
* Minimum number of participants is 2 persons.
* Please bring an apron, and wear comfortable shoes.
* If you are a foreigner, please bring someone with you who speaks Japanese.

Ms. Mukae (to the left) tries out the Dyeing Experience. Guiding the experience was Mr Yasutaka Nakajo (to the right) from the Daimatsu Senkoujyo Co.,Ltd..

A traditional craft experience using genuine Ise Pattern Paper!

The ‘Ise Pattern Paper’ is used to dye patterns such as Edo Komon. You can experience dyeing with this pattern paper at the Daimatsu Dye-Works Factory in Yahiro in Sumida City (Tokyo). The Daimatsu Dye-Works Factory is skilled in traditional dyeing techniques such as Edo Komon and Edo Sarasa, and can even dye synthetic fibres, leather and other materials. Adjacent to the workshop precious materials and documents about dyeing are exhibited in the ‘Edo Komon and Edo Sarasa Museum’, and you can learn about the history of dye-works. Ms Mukae, who tried the experience, says it was both her first time to partake in a dyeing experience, as well as to see the working area used for dyeing. She listened eagerly to Mr Nakajo, who guided her through the experience.

Before the experience starts, Mr Nakajo explains the history and beginnings, as well as the steps to craft Edo Komon. “This paste is used to colour in silk. You see how it is skin coloured? It is made with rice flour and bran.” He does not hold a lecture though, rather participants can enjoy a pleasant and informative time while actually seeing the materials and tools used in the dyeing process. After the explanation ends, the experience starts and you can try your hand in traditional dyeing. Let’s put on an apron and move to the next room, the Itaba (Room of Boards).

The Itaba, which looks like it can fit a tennis court.

Here Ms Mukae first practices how to use the spatula by applying paste to plywood. This practice is carried out in order not to mistakenly cut the pattern paper later on, when the genuine Ise Pattern Paper is used. Paste is applied to the spatula, and the paste is then spread with the spatula starting from the lower left, repeatedly moving up and down again, spreading the paste over the board. ‘The difficult part is finding the balance of how much force to apply.’ Ms Mukae says. After getting used to the procedure, she chooses a pattern paper to use.

Ms. Mukae chooses her favourite design from a selection of Ise Pattern Papers. She has difficulty deciding between geometric patterns, flowing stream designs and a flower patterns. In the end she chooses a pattern paper with a rhombus design, from the geometric patterns. Next it is finally time to experience the use of the Ise pattern paper. The experience of Katazuke (applying a pattern), where in succession, the pattern paper is pressed on the white cloth stretched over the board, is a rare sight, apparently people from all over the country come here to see it with their own eyes.

The Ise pattern paper is about 30 centimetres long vertically, and about 38 centimetres long horizontally. For one Kimono, which is about 13 metres long, one Ise pattern paper is applied about 45 times side by side. In the Ise Pattern Paper you can find small holes, called ‘Hoshi’, these are used to indicate where to attach the pattern paper the following time, though this is very difficult to do. Aligning the patterns exactly, you can tell the impressive skill of the artisan.

Finally let’s see the results of the practice until now with the creation of a placemat!

After learning how to use the spatula and the paste, and how to line up the pattern on the white cloth, Ms Mukae puts everything she learned today to the test in creating a placemat. Choosing her preferred colour from a selection of 5 colours preselected by the Daimatsu Dye-Works Factory, the next step is to apply gold dye paste using the Ise Pattern Paper.

Putting everything she learned into action, step by step. With a mixture of expectation and tension, she lifts the pattern paper and…

A beautiful finish! She can’t help but smile.

Adjacent to a museum full of precious materials and documents. An enriching 2 hours experience.

Ms. Mukae chose a green cloth with a golden pattern, and is fully satisfied with the result. The placemat can be taken home after it has been dried for about 20 to 30 minutes. In the standard experience course, you can use this drying time to visit the Edo Komon and Edo Sarasa Museum, or take a look around at the shop next to it. The required time for the experience is about 2 hours. Let’s invite some friends and enjoy a great time.

The Edo Komon and Edo Sarasa Museum of the Daimatsu Factory. Inside materials and documents are on display.

– Company Name: Daimatsu Senkoujyo Co.,Ltd.
– Address: ‘Edo Komon / Edo Sarasa Hakubutsukan / Kobo Shop’   Yahiro 2-27-10, Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to
– Business hours: 13:00 – 17:00
– Closed: Saturdays, National Holidays, Beginning and End of the Year.
– Homepage:
– Access: Keisei Oshiage Line (Keisei Hikifune Station) 15 minutes’ walk from the East Exit
Parking Space available *Please feel free to come with car.