Conceptualized and designed by Snow Peak President Lisa Yamai, the Yamai Line seeks to bridge the gap between the wearer and nature. The collection prioritizes slow manufacturing process and a return to ancient techniques that have been passed down over generations. Each piece is a true work of art, with unique details that can only be found in nature textiles and dyes.
The premier season of the Yamai Line heavily utilizes ink, mud and indigo dyeing in the Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan. Below we explore a few of the techniques used by the craftspeople at the Takarajima Senkou Workshop who dyed many of the items for the Yamai collection.
Natural Dyeing Techniques
Ink Dye: Ink dyeing utilizes natural inks that are made using soot and charcoal. The ink is mixed with glue or animal fat to create a dye. The end result is an uneven, but beautiful pure grey color.
Mud Dye: Most mud dyeing techniques are based on the traditional methods developed on the Japanese island of Amami Oshima. Mud dyeing results in a moist and subtle look. Mud Indigo Dye: This particular technique is used to create a natural black. While no true black hues are available in natural dyeing, a blueish black can be made by layering mud and indigo dyeing. It has an earthy richness and fades with time to resemble a deep eggplant hue.
Texture and Feel of Natural Dyes
Natural dyes have more imperfections than chemical dyes, but that’s what makes each piece unique. For example, when practicing mud dyeing, the mud will have different bacteria depending upon location and other factors. It’s impossible to predict exactly how the dye will turn out, which is part of the beauty of the process. There is a certain amount of nuance to natural dyes that cannot be replicated with synthetic dyeing processes.
Explore the Yamai Line or read the full story on natural dye techniques from Takarajima Senkou here.