“Aizome” is traditional dying method to create blue color by using “Ai” dyestuff. Blue color of Kimono is traditionally made by “Aizome” since Nara Period (A.D.710-).
After Edo Period (A.D. 1603-), “Aizome” was widely used because it was compatible with cotton cloths.
There were a lot of “Aizome” Craftsmen all over Japan. However, the number of “Aizome” craftsmen had been decreased because of the advent of the chemical dyestuff. Although, there are few “Aizome” craftsmen in Japan, it has been treasured because “Aizome” is chemical free and environmental friendly dying method and its shade of color is really natural.
“Ai” Dyestuff is made of various natural compounds. The base of “Ai” is “Sukumo” which is ferment polygoum. “Sukumo” is mixed with Japanese Sake, lime, lye and wheat skin in earthenware pot and ferment again.
“Ai” is really sensitive dyestuff and it have to be managed carefully. On the other hand, “Ai” has various functions such as insecticide, deodorization and antibacterial.
Photo’s and information are given by “紺屋(Konya)” located in Koriyama City, Nara. You can try “Aizome” at Konya.