Modern Japanese Gifts

Hand-dyed Silk Scarves

A collection of handpainted silk scarves from Kyoto showing off a rainbow of colorsCreated here in Kyoto, these stunning scarves were hand-dyed using a method called shikebiki in which dye is painted directly on fabric with a special brush. These 100% silk scarves can be worn in several ways to show off their beautiful colors and intricate artistic details. Truly one-of-a-kind, these masterpieces are a wonderful Kyoto gift for yourself or someone special.

Flowing handpainted fabric shows off traditional Kyoto dyeing techniques

Shikebiki History

The shikebiki technique was originally developed for dyeing kimono fabrics. As the technique of using stencils to create patterns on kimono silk developed, it became more difficult to dye fabrics using existing techniques like immersing the entire cloth in dye. The painting method used in the shikebiki style was developed to fit the needs of the evolving art form and shows off the elegance of each masterful brush stroke. The artist brings us these gorgeous scarves with a desire to share shikebiki with modern audiences.

Traditional heirloom brushes used by a Kyoto artist to create one-of-a-kind handpainted silk scarves

About the Artist

A Kyoto shikebiki master paints each beautiful scarf by hand. His spectacular dyeing techniques as well as the specialized tools he employs have been passed down through his family. In fact, he owns brushes that are older than he is! Taking great pride in his work, the artist is always striving to create the highest quality pieces using tradition, skill, and innovation.

A skilled Kyoto artisan carefully painting dye onto silk in straight, even strokes

Shikebiki Artistry

The artist uses his specialized brushes and intense concentration to paint dye directly onto the silk in long, steady strokes. Careful attention must be paid to speed, pressure, and angle to get the lines just right. Several layers of dye are painted to achieve the sophistocated depth and range of colors. Each side of the silk fabric is painted invididually, so similar color schemes may be used, but no two pieces will ever be exactly alike. This traditional technique and the artisan’s dedication to the craft result in one-of-a-kind works of art.

Stoles displayed to show the beauty of tradition Kyoto dyeing methods

Enjoy Your Hand-dyed Scarves

Some pieces have sutble differences in color while others have quite contrasting hues. Whether pairing with Japanese kimono or Western clothing, try different draping methods to show off these gorgeous color gradations and contrasts. With various colors schemes and tones, men and women can easily add a touch of traditional Kyoto art to their wardrobes.