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Jofu is a premium woven ramie fabric (“Ramie” is a natural fibre that is similar to hemp and linen. It is a strong fibre that has been used for Kimono since ancient times). It is said that the origin of Notojofu goes back to about 2,000 years ago, when the daughter of Emperor Sujin was in the Noto region (area in the Noto Peninsula, middle part of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan), where she created a thread using wild ramie and taught weaving.
In the Edo era (around 19th century), the technology was introduced from other regions of Japan. Then, in the early Showa era (around 1930), the fabric was hailed as the best ramie fabric in Japan, and in 1960, it was designated as an intangible cultural asset for Ishikawa Prefecture. Women of farmer’s house almost wove in the winter, during the agricultural off-season.
Notojofu’s crafting techniques, which serve as the representation of the manufacturing of elaborate Tate- Yoko Kasuri (the splashed pattern created by dyeing the warp and weft threads separately beforehand based on the pattern and finely adjusting the weft threads to match the pattern; warp and weft resist-dyeing) using Notojofu’s unique dyeing techniques, such as Kushioshi Nassen (comb-press dyeing) and rolling Nassen, have been identified as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ishikawa prefecture.
Still today, Notojofu is woven by hand in the traditional manner, and is distinctive for its rustic coloring and high-quality patterns, known as “Kasuri.” Its delicate texture is described as similar to a cicada’s wings. Soft and cool, it is often used as a fabric for “Kimonos” to be worn in the hot summer.
The YAMAZAKI NOTOJOFU WORKSHOP was founded in 1891. Since then, it is the only weaving workshop to carry on the traditional techniques of Notojofu. Although it is now the only remaining weaving workshop, its weavers, who are mostly young people from throughout the prefecture and around Japan, continue to weave in their predecessors’ footsteps.
“RAMIE EPOCH” is a new brand that assimilates the unique characteristics of Notojofu, a traditional craft, while aiming to create products that are useful in daily life. From fashion items such as stoles to home items such as cushions, our products contain ramie’s appealing texture that can only be achieved through hand-weaving.