zen hand drawing

Need to steam to stick colors on silk

As long as items are made following Tegaki(hand drawn) Kyo-Yuzen, steaming is a must after dyeing on silk.

Why is that?

After “dyeing” and dry the cloth, it might look great and dyes are stuck there. But actually it’s not there perfectly.

Become colors more vivid and stabilized

Steaming is wonderful. It sounds like an old style way. Yes, it does. But it’s not possible to make colors/dyes stick into the cloth without it.
Moreover, using steam and its heat, the color will become more vivid.

How do you steam it?

Put the cloth in the steaming box


First of all, hang the cloth on hooks like this. Newspaper prevents starch(which is masked) from becoming dry and the cloth from color migration.
Insert these nails into the edges of the cloth.
Steaming box
This is a box to steam the cloth.
This steaming box is 2meters high and 2.5meters long. It’s like a small container.
It's divided by 3 sections
50 *kimonos are available at a time.

*1 kimono is created from a single piece of cloth which is 13 meters (43 feet) long and 38 centimeters (14.5 inches) wide.
The second section
The steaming box is divided by 3 sections.
The third section
Each section can be put 16-17 kimonos.
Steaming is coming from the bottom
This is not a plain iron box. It’s also used woods inside and they control the temperature as they get steam in and out.
This helps to keep the temperature at 100°C.

How long do you steam?

close the door
Close the door firmly.
Wait for 30 min
Steaming about 30 – 40 minutes. It depends on how deep the background color is. Workers need skills to judge how long the cloth needs to get steamed.

Deep colors need to get steamed twice to stick dyes perfectly. For examples, they are such as navy, black, dark purple and so on.
Leaking the steam nicely
As you might already know, there are 13 processes to make our items. Once a work in the processes is done, we pass an item to the next person to work with.

This process of steaming (including washing) takes at least a day and a half.
Companies for steaming are not open on weekends. Then we must take item there on Thursday morning otherwise we can not get it in the week.

As a producer, we are worried about time for this process of steaming.

This is all about steaming. Next, we are talking about washing items.