Today, I'd like to introduce you the items made by traditional Japanese cloth : Chirimen Silk Crepe(ちりめん生地).

 Chirimen silk crepe is a Japanese traditional type of fabric that has a shrunken appearance. Specifically, the warp yarn is almost untwisted, and the weft yarn is twisted to the right or left as it is woven. Because the weft is twisted and turned, the resulting fabric shrinks, and the surface of the fabric becomes uneven.

Its characteristic crinkled texture prevents the formation of wrinkles and gives it a soft and supple texture. It is also used as a dyeing fabric, and the reflections of the bumps and bruises created by the grain can express beautiful colors, giving it a deep and unique color.

History of Chirimen Silk Crepe

 

 At the end of the 16th century, when the trade with European countries  was flourishing, the technique of crape was introduced to Sakai (Osaka) from Ming Dynasty China along with other textiles such as figured satin, and it is said that weavers in Sakai began to weave crape. The technique was then introduced to Nishijin in Kyoto, and from there it spread to other parts of Japan, including Mineyama in Tango (northern Kyoto), Nagahama (Hama crepe), Gifu, and Kiryu, where it achieved its own unique development.

From the Edo period to the Meiji and Taisho periods, the technique of crape was handed down, and at the same time, "crape crafts" were born. Since cloth materials were very precious at the time, they reused the scraps from making kimonos to make drawers, purses, and toys. This is the reason because there are many items made by Chirimen in Japan.

Today, with the advent of various technologies, today there are also Chirimen made by polyester. Since polyester is cheaper than silk, it has become possible to produce more crape fabrics than ever before.

Traditional items made by Chirimen silk crepe

Kimonos and obis are the first products that come to mind that are made of Chirimen fabric. Other items such as furoshiki (wrapping cloth) and bags to match kimonos are also made of Chirimen crepe.

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Items made by Chirimen silk crepe

While kimono certainly represent the most popular Chirimen silk crepe product, the technique is also used for small articles such as book covers,  stationery and accessories. With many fascinating designs and colors, as well as various luxurious textures, there’s much to appreciate in the culture of Chirimen.

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Finally

From traditional Japanese accessories to small items for daily use, a large variety of products are made of Chirimen fabric. If you're interested in Chirimen Silk Crepe items, please try to find it from the pages below. We're sure you'll find something you like!

See More Chirimen silk crepe items

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