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The Hand-Dyeing Specialists of Sumida-ku

If you're looking for custom, hand-dyed fabrics, these three specialists in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, are dyeing to set you up!

The Organic Beauty of Kaga Lacquerware

A mountainous land dotted with hot springs, Yamanaka in Ishikawa Prefecture is a major center of lacquerware production, thanks to woodturners who emigrated to this area 400 years ago.

Taking Denim Beyond the Jean Jacket

Hiroshima is known for its denim. But the denim being made here may not be the kind of denim you know!

The Ultimate Wedding Cake Knife

Swords have been forged in this Gifu Prefecture town since the late Kamakura Period. Now the same traditions are being applied to some of the best knives you can hope to find.

The Secrets of Pearl Harvesting in Japan

Look closely through the translucent sheen of any Akoya pearl and you’ll see a rainbow of colors—a joint gift from the growers, the oysters, and the sea itself. But how are they produced?

All About the Local Creators' Market

Launched by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Local Creators’ Market focuses on five Japanese locales noted for producing exquisite traditional handicrafts.

Sumida Textiles: Hand-Dyed in Tokyo

The Sumida Ward has long prospered as the center of Japan's fabric industry. Even today, it is capable of reproducing nearly any color on demand.

2 Modern Masters of Woodwork & Lacquer

Working by hand at scales that can at times only be seen with a magnifying glass, these two artisans are heirs to a 400-year-old legacy of woodworking in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Endless Design Possibilities: Fukuyama Denim

Specialists in every step of denim manufacture—spinning, dyeing, weaving, washing—abound in Fukuyama, a leading producer of denim in Japan. The locale is a driving force behind the worldwide appeal of Japanese denim.

For Custom Fabric Colors, Go to Sumida-ku

Place an order with a swatch or color chip, and shops in this Tokyo district will delve into a formidable databank of colors amassed over the history of the craft to instantly dye your fabric to the exact color of the sample.

How Japanese Pearls Are Processed

How are pearls processed? Prized Akoya pearls are sorted in front of a north-facing window, where the low-angled natural light reveals any scratches and irregularities, and practiced artisans recognize flaws as slight as a tenth of a millimeter.

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