In detail... The Kasuri Edit

May 11, 2021

In detail... The Kasuri Edit

While Japanese denim has been a mainstay in the fashion industry for many years, it's just one of the countless beautiful fabrics to come from Japan. We’ve been lucky enough to work with a number of Japanese mills that have stuck to traditional dyeing and weaving methods and our Kasuri cloth is the result of one of these cherished partnerships. 

The term ‘Kasuri’ is given to a type of Japanese fabric that utilises a form of Ikat dyeing to achieve blurry yet intricate patterns. There are many different forms of Kasuri, but they all share a core method where either or both of the warp and weft threads are treated to resist the dye prior to dyeing. When woven together into cloth, the undyed parts of the yarns form patterns that can range from simple splashes or strikes to intricate imagery.

The origins of Kasuri can be traced back to the 12th and 13th Century when Ikat dyeing techniques were practised on the Ryukyu Islands. The fabric gradually entered the shores of southern Japan and spread throughout the country, becoming a respected craft and valuable export. Mass production of the fabric began in the mid-19th Century, but was halted in the 1930s by Japan’s military expansion efforts which saw most fabric production outsourced to prisons and countries with cheaper labour. Kasuri did enjoy a booming post-war revival, but as Western fashion swept Japan in the late-1960s, demand for Kasuri fell and the number of makers began to decline.
Today, there are only two companies left producing truly traditional Kasuri in modern-day Japan, and we’re lucky enough to be working one of them. Our Kasuri is made by artisans in Hiroshima who treat and dye cotton yarns by hand before expertly weaving them on a 1950s shuttle loom. This slow and calculated weaving technique gives the cloth a neppy texture with a soft handle and intentional irregularities in the weave that pair perfectly with the charmingly blurry Kasuri patterns.



Join our newsletter & never miss a launch

Get Dawson Denim stories, new releases & exclusive offers delivered to your inbox.