JOURNAL.2 Mud dyeing|Amami Oshima


Kagoshima Prefecture / Amami Oshima where untouched nature remains.
Mud dyeing has been practiced since ancient times on this island, which is close to the main island of Okinawa.
All processes of mud dyeing are done by craftsmen on the island, making it one of the most important industries on the island.

Mud dyeing is based on vegetable dyeing, which involves dyeing using Techigi (wheel ash) that grows naturally on the island.
The techi wood harvested on Amami Oshima contains a high concentration of tannic acid due to the strong sea breeze and fertile soil, making it very suitable for dyeing.

Techi wood collected from the mountains is made into chips in the workshop and boiled in a large pot.
When the boiling begins, smoke and a unique, slightly sweet smell fill the workshop.

The techi tree extract, which has been boiled and extracted, gradually becomes reddish after being left to oxidize for several days.
It takes about a week from firing to fermentation and oxidation to complete the dye.

Unlike chemical dyes, dyes made only from plants are weak in color retention. For that reason, it is dipped in dye and set repeatedly from kneading to dehydration.
By repeating the same process over and over again, layers of color are layered on top of each other, adding depth to the color.

A mud field located at the foot of a mountain. The thing dyed with techi wood is rubbed in the mud.
Water rich in minerals flows into the mud fields from the mountains. The iron in it reacts with the tannic acid of the Techigi tree, turning it into a very deep brown color.

A river that serves as a washing place.
Dyes and mud are washed away in a relaxed flow.

A landscape that symbolizes Amami Oshima.
Magnificent nature and people's lives coexist.

In today's busy time, the time that flows on the island is somehow very leisurely.
Mud dyeing requires a great deal of time and effort. The number of craftsmen who support the tradition is also decreasing. In order to continue without changing the old way of doing things, you need to be prepared.

Mud dyeing that conveys the traditional method to the present creates a deep brown with depth.
The unique colors and textures, combined with the background of manufacturing, touch people's heartstrings.

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