Tour No.08 "Kiyohara Orimono Corp."
Technique detail

"Tsume Tsuzure"
'Tsume' means 'nail', and weavers use their nails for 'tsume-tsuzure' technique. Nail is chased , and weavers use their small chases to draw weft threads. They weave one thread by one thread with nails.
To make patterns, different color weft threads are used, and weaver must change the weft at the boundaries of colors. Warp threads are all covered with weft threads. Its weaving process is as if drawing picture with weft threads.
I tried to take pictures of motions, but their finger motions are too speedy, and I couldn't. However how their motions are quick, it takes a month to complete a small fukusa ( approx 18cmx 18cm - 7.1in x 7.1in) . To make enough size fukusa with colorful pattern, it will take more than three months. In addition, weaver need 12 years training to reach professional level.
Tsume tsuzure weave technique must be one of the most sumptuous textile in the world.


If you look the tsume tsuzure fabric closely, you can find small holes in the boundaries of colors as the left photo shows. They are called 'hatsurikou', which is the distinctive feature of tsume tsuzure weave.
There exist machine-woven tsuzure fabrics. They never have 'hatsurikou', so you can easily distinguish real tsume tsuzure from machine woven one.
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"All artisans have been trained more than 12 years "
When I visited factory, three female artisans were weaving fukusa sedulously.
I thought I knew how they weave with nails, but I could not help to be astonished to see their incredible works closely.


"Saw-edged nail is the life of tsuzure weaver"
They make approx 8 cuts in one nail. Nails of fourth finger and third finger of both hands are cut and used for weaving. Weavers have to care for their nails everyday. Those cuts are very delicate, and its condition determine the quality of textile.
To keep this saw-edged nails, weaver's ordinary life is also affected. They have never manicure, even if weavers are young unmarried lady. They devote their lives to tsume-tsuzure weave.


"One day weaving makes textile longer only 1cm - 3cm!"
With one day weaving, textile becomes longer only 3cm-1.4in, and if the pattern is complicated only 1cm-0.4in is added.
They put the design paper under the threads, and weave from the other side.


"Weaving motion is incredibly quick "
I tried again and again, but I couldn't take pictures how they use their nails.


"Check the right side with mirror"
To check the right side, weaver uses mirror .



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