Sep. 11, 2020 UPDATE
Kyo-yuzen standard course：Marumasu-Nishimuraya- 丸益西村屋 -
Workshop instructors use sample pieces and neatly guide you in English through the steps of how to reproduce your own. The instruction booklet in English is simple and easy to understand. If you get a bit stuck partway through, it's great to have instructors on hand for help.
Japanese, English, and Chinese
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Story & Recommendation
Create your very own Kyo-yuzen dyed souvenir in just one hour!
Marumasu-Nishimuraya, located about a seven-minute walk from the Karasuma Oike Station on the Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Line or Tozai Line, offers an introductory course to Kyo-yuzen dyeing that takes 1-1.5 hours. While this course is for beginners, you can experience the authentic "surikomi-yuzen" technique employed by real artisans. Place paper patterns of animals and flowers on top of your item and use a brush to apply the dye. You can choose from over twenty items for your custom piece, including T-shirts, luncheon mats, tumbler covers, and more. The motifs feature maiko, traditional Kyo-machiya homes, and other signature Kyoto sceneries. This makes the perfect souvenir for your voyage through Kyoto! The introductory course also takes on-the day bookings, so if you have a bit of spare time in between seeing the sights, this is a great way to see traditional crafts up close. Some of the staff speak English and will kindly guide you through the work. Relax and enjoy the class!
Step 1 Items for dyeing
You'll find a wide range of items lining the shelves of the classroom. For the introductory course, you'll be asked to select an item to dye, like a handkerchief, T-shirt, tumbler cover, et cetera. When booking your appointment, you can tell the staff which item you want to work on, or you can decide once you get to the classroom and see them for yourself. The items themselves also come in many colors, so it's tough to make a decision!
Step 2 Look and choose design samples
As for the process, after selecting your item, you choose a paper pattern with a motif of your choice and place it over the item. You then use a brush to apply dye. There is a section near the entrance to the classroom where the patterns are stored. These patterns include motifs of famous Kyoto sites, animals, Japanese kanji, and more. You can even pick multiple patterns. Grab what you want and go for it. Depending on the pattern, you may need to sequentially layer 2-4 different patterns to complete the image. If you want to speed things up, try the kanji patterns, since they are on one sheet.
Step 3 Let’s start dyeing
Hold the frame with the exclusive tool in order for it to not slip out. Once you choose the color and put the paint on the brush, you can start to softly paint away. Depending on the design, you will be using 2 to 4 different frames by swapping and painting it to complete your Yuzen dye.
Enjoy sightseeing in Kyoto with your original kyo-yuzen dyed souvenir
In one hour, we had a finished cover for this tumbler. The tumbler cup is included for the lesson fee of ￥2,200. You get to freely use your choice of ten colors to decorate the maiko motif, so it's fun to get creative. Applying heat with an iron makes the item color-fast, so try doing so to maintain the color of the item at home. Many of these practical items can be used right away, so why not take your new creation on you with your trip through Kyoto?
- Manner & Tips -
There are different brushes for each color, so don't mix them. Tie back the aprons provided to you to keep your clothes clean. If your hands get stained, you can use a dedicated sink next to the classroom.