About Tango Chirimen
Tango Chirimen” (“shrunken surface silk textile”) is one of the most famous textiles of Kyotango and is well known throughout Japan. It is a type of silk fabric used for kimonos, and is characterized by its unique bumpy surface.
The history of Tango Chirimen dates back to around 1720, when some craftsmen went to Nishijin, Kyoto, to learn how to weave the most advanced and fashionable fabric of the time, called “Omeshi Chirimen”, and brought the technique back to Tango. It is extremely difficult to create unique bumps. As a result of repeated trial and error, “Tango Chirimen” was born, which is characterized by its thick fabric and high bumps.
Tango Chirimen is easy to dye and flexible, so it is often used for vividly colored Yuzen-dyed kimono. (“Yuzen” is a method of dyeing silk fabrics for kimono.)
Today, Tango Chirimen is used not only for kimonos, but also for clothing, accessories, and interior decoration.
We interviewed one of the historical weavers, Tayuh Kigyo.
Tayuh Kigyo is a weaving company founded in 1931 that carefully protects and nurtures the tradition of Tango Chirimen. Over the years, its textiles have won various awards, including the Kyoto Governor’s Award.
Its excellent quality has been recognized not only in Japan but also in the world. It has been featured in the Paris Haute Couture Collection by Adeline Andre and in the packaging of an American cosmetics manufacturer.
Factory tours are available. You can also see the “Hosenju” garden created by Mirei Shigemori, a master garden architect of the Showa era. The beautiful Karesansui (“dry landscape”) garden is a must-see. (Reservation required)
Where Tango Chirimen is Born
We visited Tayuh Kigyo near Hatchohama in Kyotango City and were shown around their factory.
After checking the quality of the delivered raw silk, they apply a stronger twist to it to create the basis of the bumps on the textile, and then weave it on the loom. Although I have written about it very briefly, there are many detailed operations in the process of weaving to produce the highest quality Tango Chirimen.
After weaving, they manually remove the knots from the fabric, inspect it, wash off the dirt, and inspect it again… After passing many inspections, the highest quality fabrics are shipped from Tayuh Kigyo to all over Japan and the world.
Products of Tayuh Kigyo
Not only do they sell textiles for kimono, but they also produce original fabrics and twist silk threads upon request. They sell small items made of silk fabrics and skin care goods made of silk cocoon extracts, too.
Tayuh Kigyo Information
Opening hours: 8:30～18:00
Closed: Saturday and Sunday
You can wear a Tango Chirimen kimono. We recommend trying on a kimono with Ms. Saito, who is a master dresser for kimono.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to wear a Tango Chirimen kimono made by Tayuh Kigyo! Please try on the high-quality kimono made by them and enjoy its beauty, comfort, and texture with your eyes and skin.