The process starts of dyeing starts with the pattern being traced onto raw silk kimono fabric. Each pattern is never used more than 3 times. Some patterns are only used once and this results in a more expensive kimono.
This design is then traced over with a fine wax. This prevents the dye from bleeding into each other during the process.
Dyes are applied by hand with a brush.
The skilled artisans sit on the floor and work very long sections of fabric which are run through rollers to control length.
The artisans paint over a pot of burning embers which helps the dyes dry instantly.
Some processes require the fabric to pass through an oven as well as using the pot of embers.
Dyes are mixed by hand and color is controlled by using color swatches.
Finally finished fabric is sent of to another artisan who will then sew it into kimonos.
I recently had an editorial assignment in Kyoto. Getty Images sent me to cover an event at the Eigamura which is an Edo-style park. For this event local makers and producers turned the park into a bar. There was lots of special foods and the sake was flowing. What really added to the event was the fact that everyone got into character for it including a majority of the visitors. Below are some of the shots from the event.
The coverage started with the performers and some of the sellers going through wardrobe and make-up to transform themselves into what they would look like if it really was the Edo period.
The second part of the assignment was to cover the actual event. This was really fun as there were lots of colorful characters.
There was entertaining cultural events through out the night which really added to the experience.
You can see the whole set of pics heremore
We recently made the long drive to Kyoto. Jon to shoot a model and some time lapse and I had a news assignment at a large movie studio. My assignment did not start until late afternoon so I took a stroll through a nearby Nishiki Market. It was full bizarre foods and fascinating people.
I would also like to that this guy for coming on the adventure it was and being an awesome right hand man! Had to literally fight the geiko woman off of him throughout the night!more