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What is indigo dyeing?

"Ai jar"

"Aigame" is a jar exclusively for indigo dyeing, and Otani ware in Tokushima is the mainstream. Even in the production area of Otani ware, there are very few kilns that have the technology and kilns that can be made.

Indigo jars are longer and thinner than ordinary jars, and the edges are shaped so that the dyeing liquid does not easily overflow when stirring. In addition, because it is made of soil that is not mixed with extraneous substances, there is no concern that inappropriate components will dissolve, and the jars will breathe, creating an environment where the organisms inside can spend time comfortably.

Not all dyers use this indigo jar, but I started using it because I was convinced by the teacher's recommendation and the reason for using it.

Before I went to study indigo dyeing, I used a 45L poly bucket, and I wasn't confident that I could make full use of one stone (Ichikoku: about 180L) jar, which was many times larger than before, and it wasn't cheap. On top of that, it took me a while to make a decision because of the location issue, but as a result, I'm really glad that it was a jar.


My mentor manages an old-fashioned style workshop called "Icchoba".

 Icchoba is a workshop with 16 jars in total, with 4 jars in 1 set. For temperature control, the body of the jar is embedded in the ground, and a heating device (formerly a furnace) is installed in the center of the set. In the past, "Kouya" asked that this style was the mainstream. It seems that it was necessary to prepare jars of different ages and to meet the color and delivery date requested by customers.

It is a deep knowledge that the master's jar is one stone 5 tons (Ichikokugoto: about 270L), which is one size larger than my jar, and manages 16 jars of that size and dyes them all in a good cycle. It requires skill and experience and is hard work.

While the number of traditional dyers who have such workshops is decreasing, masters are also enthusiastic about training leaders.

I am a minimalist workplace, and although it is not as good as a full-fledged dyer, I pledge to keep the good quality dyeing that can be done even if it is small, and I dye it every day.

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