The history of Nishijin textile dates back to the Kofun period. The techniques of sericulture and silk weaving were introduced from the continent around the 5th and 6th centuries, and after passing through the Asuka and Nara periods, the capital was eventually moved to Heiankyo, where textile industry technicians gathered around present-day Kamigyo Ward. I'm here.
The Onin War lasted for 11 years, and the town of Kyoto was engulfed in war. Due to the devastating situation, many engineers and merchants fled the war to what is now Sakai, and the textile industry was destroyed, but when the war subsided, they returned to Kyoto and joined the Western army. They worked to revive the textile industry in Nishijin, the site of the main shrine.
From there, the name Nishijin-ori spread.
Around this time, the technique of takahata, which had been handed down from the continent, was adopted, and it became possible to create monori, which uses previously dyed thread to weave colored patterns and designs. In this way, the technique of pattern weaving was established, and the foundation for the high-quality silk fabric ``Nishijin-ori'' was laid.
Nishijin textile technology and production area were recognized by the imperial court at the time and protected by famous Sengoku feudal lords, while also focusing on technological innovation. In the Edo period, its momentum increased and it became even more prosperous.
However, by the middle of the Edo period, Nishijin-ori was once again in trouble. The world is unstable due to a long-lasting famine.
Demand decreased due to the ban on luxury items imposed by the Shogunate. The city of Kyoto was hit by a huge fire, and silk textile production centers were popping up one after another in other areas, making for a difficult situation.
In the Meiji period, the capital moved to Tokyo, and the city of Kyoto as a whole lost its momentum. Even under such circumstances, Nishijin textile engineers continue to explore ways to innovate with the unyielding spirit that has been passed down to them.
Taking advantage of this opportunity for civilization and enlightenment, we dispatched human resources to France and other European countries. Those who were sent away with the idea of modernizing Nishijin in mind learned advanced technology and literally risked their lives to return. After a long and difficult voyage, only two ships made it from Lyon, France to Japan.
Looms were loaded onto these two ships, and the jacquard weaving technology was brought to Nishijin, leading to the modernization of Nishijin textiles.
It is said that Nishijin, which adopted Western culture, began weaving not only Japanese kimono and obi but also necktie fabric around that time.