tourism

【Fukuoka/Chikugo】Indigo Dyeing and Ikat Textile Introduction ・ Dye Your Own Items (Optional)

Indigo Dye a Japanese Tenugui Cloth at Tanaka Kasuri Kobo
Workshop Visit and Cloth Dyeing (1-1.5hrs)

Dye a Japanese “tenugui” cloth in an indigo vat
Experience using the same indigo vats as a professional craftsman
Indigo-dyed “tenugui” cloth
Create a design in the fabric before dyeing
Aizome (indigo-dyed) Kurume Kasuri handcrafts from Tanaka Kasuri Kobo
Shop kasuri products made by Tanaka Kasuri Kobo (optional)

Kurume Kasuri has a history of over 200 years stemming from southern Fukuoka Prefecture. Tanaka Kasuri Kobo in Chikugo City is one of the few remaining kasuri weavers who continue the traditional practice of dyeing with indigo and hand-weaving their products. Under the guidance of Toshihiro Tanaka, the fourth-generation head of Tanaka Kasuri Kobo, you can experience indigo dyeing using the workshop's own indigo vats. Dye a Japanese tenugui cloth in the pattern of your choice or dye a piece of material brought from home. (*An extra charge may be applied depending on the size and weight of the item brought.) This introductory course is recommended for those interested in learning more about Kurume Kasuri and want to try indigo dyeing themselves.

  • Observe the technique of creating traditional indigo-dyed, hand-woven Kurume Kasuri
  • Experience the fermentation of indigo and see the beautiful color change before your eyes
  • Dye a Japanese "tenugui" cloth (provided) or bring your own item to design and dye
  • Work and talk directly with the artisan to deepen your understanding of Kurume Kasuri
  • After the experience, browse and purchase Tanaka Kasuri Kobo’s kasuri products (optional)
Toshihiro Tanaka 田中稔大4th generation head of Aika Tanaka Kasuri Kobo
Born in 1983, Toshihiro graduated from Kyushu Sangyo University, Zokei Junior College of Art and Design in 2003. Since then, he has been producing natural, indigo-dyed, hand-woven Kurume Kasuri along with his father, Hiroshi Tanaka. Toshihiro also runs itoe - a Kurume Kasuri textile brand, and KASASAGI COFFEE, a hand-ground, self-roasted coffee shop.
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Kurume Kasuri: One of the Three Major Kasuri Styles in Japan

Kasuri is a textile weaving technique where pre-dyed threads (either the warp, weft, or both) are used to create patterns in woven fabric. The kasuri technique is said to have originated in India before spreading throughout the world, entering Japan first through Okinawa. Kurume Kasuri is a kasuri fabric from the former Kurume domain (Hirokawa, Chikugo, Yame, etc.) and was invented in 1800 by a girl named Den Inoue. While less than 20 weavers in the area remain today, the area is characterized by the wide range of techniques that are used – from traditional hand-weaving and indigo-dyeing to power-driven shuttle loom weaving.

Tanaka Kasuri Kobo’s Kurume Kasuri Textiles

When Exposed to Oxygen, the Material Turns a Beautiful Indigo Blue

In the first half of the tour, prepare your material for the indigo dyeing experience. Reference dyed samples or come up with an original pattern by combining different tying, folding, and clamping techniques. After the preparations are complete, move to the dyeing space where a line of indigo vats is situated in the ground. Enjoy the excitement of seeing the indigo-dyed fabric change from brown to blue before your eyes as it is exposed to oxygen. If you bring your own fabric to dye, depending on the size and weight, an additional fee may be required. Please see the estimate for additional charges in the table below. photo:marisaroundtheworld

Use the same indigo vats that the artisans themselves use

Immersive Craft Stay

Experience a World of Artisanship at Craft Inn 手 [té]

Located in Yame close to Tanaka Kasuri Kobo (20 minutes by car), is Craft Inn 手 [té], an inn operated by UNA Laboratories that was renovated from a traditional Japanese building. From the furniture to the fixtures, bath, and decorations, every aspect of the inn highlights the craftsmanship of local artisans. An overnight stay at Craft Inn 手 [té] paired with a craft tour is a great way to experience the spirit of Kyushu and its craftspeople! Learn more about Craft Inn 手 [té] and reserve a room here.

Craft Inn 手 [té]

Indigo themed room

Tour Code

GFHK07

Dates

Sun, Mon, Tues: 10:00-, 13:00-

Request type: Please send us your desired dates using the inquiry form. We will check availability and get back to you.

Duration

1-1.5 hours

Schedule

09:50/12:50

Meet at Tanaka Kasuri Kobo


10:00/13:00

Introduction


10:05/13:05

Explanation of the Kurume Kasuri process and pattern making (dyeing preparation)


10:30/13:30

Indigo dyeing experience


11:00-11:30/14:00-14:30

End・Commemorative Photo

*Depending on the size of the work and the complexity of the pattern you want to create, the program will take about 1 to 1.5 hours. Please let us know in advance if you have plans after the tour. Shopping for fabrics and various kasuri products is available after the tour if you wish.

Additional charge for dyeing your own items
  • Tenugui, short-sleeved T-shirts, light clothes: +0 JPY~
  • Long-sleeved T-shirts, blouses etc.: +2,200 JPY~
  • Dress etc.: +3,300 JPY~
  • Jeans etc.: +7,700 JPY~

*The above prices are estimates. The actual fee will be determined by the craftsman on the day of, after they have seen the weight and size of the material. If you plan to dye your own item, please soak it in water before bringing it to the tour.

Meeting Place
Aika Tanaka Kasuri Kobo
442-1 Takae, Chikugo City, Fukuoka Prefecture 833-0052
*If you come by car, please park at the nearby Takae Kumano Shrine parking lot. Takae Kumano Shrine (Takae, Chikugo, Fukuoka 833-0052)

Parking lot

Workshop entrance

Language

Japanese

Participants

Minimum 2 / Maximum 6
(Groups of 6 or more people can be accepted. Please contact us at tour@unalabs.com)

Reservation Deadline
Up to five days before the tour
Payment Method

Advance payment by credit card (VISA, Master, Amex, JCB) using a form once the request has been confirmed.

Attire
  • Please wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Please note that you will be asked to remove wrist accessories, watches, etc. during the experience.
Notes
  • The tour will be held even in the event of rain, barring cases of inclement weather such as heavy rain or a typhoon.
  • All of the photographs displayed on this website are for illustrative purposes only. Additionally, the workshop is not a tourist destination, so processes and items seen may differ due to circumstances.
  • Children of elementary school age and younger may participate in the tour with a parent or guardian. However, UNA Laboratories and Tanaka Kasuri Kobo shall not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur in the parking lot or during the tour. Please keep an eye on your child/children to make sure that they do not touch the machines.
  • We recommend participants purchase domestic travel insurance for the tour.
  • This tour may be canceled in the event that its smooth implementation becomes difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cancellation Policy

3 to 1 day(s) preceding the tour start date: 50% of the tour fee

Before departure on the day of the tour: 100% of the tour fee

No-show without prior notification or cancellation after the start of tour: 100% of the tour fee

Travel Planning: Implementation

  • UNA Laboratories Inc. (Fukuoka Prefectural Governor Registration #2-951)
  • 3-12-22-302 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 810-0022
  • TEL: 092-982-7956E-MAIL: tour@unalabs.jp
  • Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors:
    Aya Tamura, Noriko Yahata, Rei Watanabe
  • Business Hours:
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (Closed Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)
  • *Requests received outside of business hours will be processed the following business day.
  • *Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors are responsible for transactions held at the sales office that processes customers’ travel. Please do not hesitate to contact the aforementioned Domestic Certified Travel Supervisors with any questions or concerns regarding the travel contract.

Tour Information

Dates
Sun, Mon, Tues: 10:00~, 13:00~

Request type: Please send us your desired date using the inquiry form. We will check availability and get back to you.

Duration
1-1.5 hours
Recommended Age
Suitable for All Ages
Price
6,000yen (tax included)
Remarks
* Material fee included
* Participants under 12 years old: ¥3,000