The weaving technique “Hogushi” was invented in the early 20th century in Chichibu. It became trendy and fashionable as a fabric of a daily-wear Kimono, with its modern and stylish patterns, during the Taisho to early Showa era.
The technique, with patterns printed on the warp before weaving, is difficult to achieve by machine. Therefore, the pattern is still printed diligently by hand by craftsmen and the fabric is woven on a traditional wooden loom.
Although the number of craftsmen is only few at present, we strive to maintain and promote this traditional technique, introducing many people to its charm.
Chichibu, located in the centre of Japan in Saitama prefecture, has been famous for sericulture and its silk fabrics since the Edo era. At the end of this era (the middle of the 19th century), the weaving technique Hogushi was invented and developed in this region.
At the beginning, the warp is held by an interim weaving. The fabric is removed from the loom and a stencil is used to print the pattern. When the printing process is complete, the real weft is woven, while the interim weft is untied. This process is called “Hogushi”.
The defining characteristics of Hogushi fabric are its lightness and durability. Both sides of the fabric can be used. Due to the warp printing, the patterns are soft and blurred, despite the bold, vivid colours.
Chichibu meisen weaver
Chichibu-shi Saitama Japan