Designer Ishibashi working to promote Okinawan traditional Uji-dyeing
July 18, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
In an effort to promote the fascinating art of Uji (sugarcane)-dyeing nationwide, Yumiko Ishibashi, a designer and tailor living in Kyoto, has been creating a line of products. At-tracted to Uji-dyeing, which is a signature fabric-dying style of Tomigusuku City, Ishibashi has been working with the full support of the City’s Uji-dyeing Cooperative.
When she was a university student, Ishibashi became interested in Uji-dyeing after hear-ing her friend’s sister talk about it.
Recalling the past, Ishibashi said, “There are many sugarcane fields in Okinawa. I was sur-prised by its dyeing color, which was different from what I expected.”
Ishibashi is in charge of design and sales at her own online shop “Mint Julep.” She said, “I like the cool image of Uji-dyeing. I would like to design something that ladies can casually wear.”
Uji-dyeing has been used widely for products such as tablecloths and kariyushi shirts. However, Ishibashi makes fashion items for women such as casual skirts that are distinct from traditional Uji-dyeing products.
Taking Ishibashi’s suggestion, Chairperson of the Cooperative Etsuko Kakinohana said, “Uji-dyeing is a new craft. Making products with new styles will be good chance to pro-mote Uji-dyeing beyond Okinawa. Members were touched by Ishibashi’s passion.”
The Cooperative decided to support the production.
Eriko Irei, who will weave and knit Ishibashi’s products, said, “Although it was a new field I had not experienced, I appreciated the proposal. We would like to share ideas and make good products.”
Ichiko Okuhama and Akiko Takaesu will be in charge of dyeing.
Products include a skirt (11,000 yen), a scrunchy (5,000 yen), and a belt (7,000 yen). It takes one month from order to delivery.
For further details, call Ishibashi at 090 (3614) 8109.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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