Noren are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, all sizes here are w. 90 cm (35.4") x l. 150 cm (59") except Maple (l. 120 cm, 47.2"), Ikuhira line 100%
Kakishibu (persimmon astringent juice) is a natural waterproofing pigment. It is extracted after not-yet-ripe, astringent persimmons are crushed and squeezed into liquid, which is then kept in clay pots in a dark, cold area so the liquid can ferment and age for three months to one year. The cloth is exposed to sunlight for coloring after immersing it in the persimmon astringent liquid or brushing the juice over the cloth at room temperature. At the beginning, the cloth appears light beige. As it is dyed repeatedly, however, the cloth turns darker, from red brown to umber. During this period, the cloth also turns into a hard, leather-like texture. Because of its high waterproofing property, persimmon juice was always applied to fishing nets, as a base coat for japan ware, to coarse oil-paper umbrellas (bangasa in Japanese), rainwear, and stencil patterns.
Ai (zome): Indigo (dyed). The basic raw material is the leaf of the Polygonum Tinctorium. The Japanese process differs from that in other parts of the world in that the leaves are fermented to extract the indigo compound. The plant grows well in the western part of Japan (mainly Tokushima = old name, Awa.) Using sukumo (fermented Polygonum leaves = composted leaves) doesn't provide any shortcut to the rest of the dyeing process. Compared with other Indigo dyeing methods, the Japanese way requires more sensitive care throughout the process because they have to keep the bacteria alive through the entire dyeing session. The Japanese words some and zome mean dyed.
Sometimes pronounced benigara. Red earth pigment. A bright, purplish-red pigment, whose main ingredient is iron oxide, Fe2O3. It occurs naturally as the mineral haematite, or can be made by heating ferrous sulphate and the color-tone varies according to the heating method used. Its mineral composition is very similar to that of taisha. Bengara is an important coloring agent in paints; glass; black, amber, and celadon ceramic glazes; iron oxide underglaze; and yellow and red overglaze enamels. It has been found in lacquer ware dating to the Joumon-era (pre-200 BCE), and was widely used as a red lacquer colorant in the Edo-era (1603-1868). Bengara is resistant to sunlight, air, heat, and alkalinity. It was applied to pillars, beams, outside walls, and decorative wooden elements of venacular dwellings, houses. The name bengara is thought to have derived from a red iron oxide brought to Japan from the Indian province of Bengal in the 16th century.