Each time, a unique encounter. Suminagashi dye technique.
Takayuki Takahashi, the lead craftsperson of Someno Takako, is known for his work in hand drawn yuzen dyeing. Using a brush dipped in dye, he paints fine and detailed patterns on to silk. Among them are the ‘sensuji’ and ‘mansuji’ striped patterns, where Takahashi paints the lines directly onto 12 metre rolls of white fabric, without any guide or draft. His skill as an artisan unquestioned, Takahashi finds his inspiration in a dye technique known as ’suminagashi.’ A method to create a marble pattern, in water dyes mix and in one moment leave their mark upon the silk. A mixture of intentional and unplanned effects, the patterns are unique, but reflect their author’s craft. While never in complete control, the craftsperson through their instinct and experience can imagine how the dyes might move, and steer them to new patterns. The point at which the dyes meld perfectly in the water retains its excitement even for those with great experience in their trade. The Shinjuku district remains a centre for dye works in the capital, and it was here that Takahashi’s father honed his skills in the ‘hikisome’ technique of applying dye using a brush. Takahashi’s younger brother meanwhile grew into the ‘katasome’ stencil dye style. This leaves Takayuki Takahashi with his skills in hand drawn yuzen, ‘ichinzome’ and of course, ‘suminagashi. Each day he realises unique dye experiences.