Saga nishiki ( 佐賀錦 )

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Saga nishiki

Saga nishiki is a brocading technique that utilizes Japanese paper. Japanese paper covered with gold, silver or lacquer is used for the wrap, while dyed silk threads are used for the weft. Geometrical patterns are usually made. There are dozens of patterns, such as sayagata and hishimon.

To make a twill weave, tools called bamboo hera or abari are used to count and scoop up wrap threads, which makes it a delicate hand-weaving process. The loom are also special, with all four sides 10cm long. The process require massive amounts of time and work even for an experienced weaver.
It is said that this was made by the women of the Nabeshima household in Hizen province, and the distinctive wicker pattern was created by the wife of a feudal lord of Nabeshima who was inspired by the design on the ceiling of a room.
An obi made of Saga nishiki can be used as a formal obi for tomesode or houmongi. As the number of weavers is dwindling, more small accessories are being made in place of obis.

[quote style=”boxed”]In Japanese

佐賀錦は、金銀の箔や漆を貼った手漉きの和紙を細かく裁断して経糸に、染め上げた絹糸を緯糸にして、織りあげられた綾織に、網代格子などの幾何学模様が浮かび上がるのが特徴です。文様はその他にも紗綾形、菱紋など数十の種類があります。平織りのほか主流の綾織では、竹へらや編針 あばり といわれる道具で経糸を数えてすくいながら、手織りによって緻密な仕事がなされます。織機も特殊で、縦横数十センチ四方の長方形の台を使います。熟練でも織り進むのにたいへんな手間と時間を要することがあります。