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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. Also, Its characteristics are ramie’s crispness along with durability. Soft and cool, it is often used as a fabric for “Kimonos” to be worn in the hot summer. Anyone who wears a Notojofu Kimono even once is sure to agree. The rustic colors that fit Noto’s climate and traditional splashed patterns contain refinement and beauty that stand the test of time.
The YAMAZAKI NOTOJOFU WORKSHOP, INC. is a textile manufacturer specializing in Notojofu. In 1891, our company was founded here in the Noto region, an area known across the nation as one of the most prolific and highest-quality textile production regions in Japan. 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.
We launched our own brand, RAMIE EPOCH in 2012. “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. Our goal is to open an epoch for Notojofu.
With our own brand RAMIE EPOCH, we use a new kind of Notojofu fabric made using a hand-washing compression process, resulting in a soft, refreshingly cool fabric. This is used to make a variety of new products including stoles, shirts, and various cloth covers. We are always innovating and thinking of new ways to use Notojofu in more than just kimono. From fashion items such as stoles and scarves to home items such as cushions and covers, our products contain ramie’s appealing texture that can only be achieved through hand-weaving.
Also, our products are characterized by their beautiful patterns and colors inspired by kimono. Each product is made with care using traditional Japanese craft techniques. The “jofu” in Notojofu refers to the highest-quality kimono made from ramie. It is a rare and valuable product that was once prized so highly as to be used in tributes to nobles and in the formal attire of the samurai class. The translucent ramie cloth and light colors characteristic to Notojofu fabric give the fabric both a cool look and feel, and help relieve the summer heat. Ensuring that not just the function, but the appearance of the fabric seems cool is an important part of the unique Japanese aesthetic sense. In this day and age, when people wearing kimono have become less and less common, it is our hope as a textile manufacturer that by making products like these, many people can casually experience and appreciate the quality of the material for themselves, allowing us to continue the tradition. Experience the Japanese spirit with our products.
Noto Jofu is a traditional handwoven fabric with ramie, a natural fibre.
”RAMIE EPOCH” is a brand of modern products made of Noto Jofu, which is mainly used for Kimonos.
Our stoles made from the fabric in Kimono-derived patterns make them distinctive. The pattern of the Ten Thousand Fibers (“Mansuji”) fabric that we use in the material for our stoles is a detailed stripe design created by dying each thread in one of 3 different colors (navy, brown, and green) before weaving. The stripe pattern “Mansuji”, which means that it contains many stripes, is a very finely detailed stripe design in Japanese tradition, which appears to be rather plain when seen from afar. “Mansuji”, stripe design gives the stoles a subtle and beautiful gradation.
Not only do our stoles allow you to feel the texture and comfort of high-quality hand-woven ramie, they enhance the joy of coordinating your clothes. Because high-quality ramie stoles have translucency, gloss, and volume, they will take center stage in your coordination. Elegant and stylish, yet casual enough to be worn informally, they are versatile accessories that can be used in a variety of settings, making it ideal for mature women.
Our scarves allow you to feel the texture, coolness, and excellent sweat absorption of high-quality hand-woven ramie.
The basic design of our form-fitting scarf goes well with anything from high fashion to sportswear. Our scarves are great for when you are out walking or enjoying other outdoor activities.