Japan – Kurakin’s Nokori Dye

I thought it would be nice to do a little series of posts this week on some of the beautiful craft work that comes out of Japan.  Perhaps no other country is so obsessed with both the past and the future at once, so it’s the perfect place to explore when it comes to using historical materials and methods to create more sustainable products.

All images via Kurikan

First in our series is the cloth ware company Kurakin.

After receiving a research offer from the government to see if it could find a way to use food scraps as colorants, the Tsuyakin Kogyo Company, of Ichinomiya, Japan, developed the “nokori dye” method. 

Based on historical dyeing techniques used for centuries, “nokori” utilizes eleven different food items to create soft, rich colors for fabrics.  Colors range from subtle tans and golds, to deeper lavenders and greens, depending on the crop source used, and the time of year in which it was harvested.

Although able to create great dyes from the food sources, the stability of the color over time and exposure to light concerned them, so they did add a small amount of traditional dye to the mix as well.  I’m hoping that with time and additional research they can convert to using 100% natural dye.

Once they had created the cloth, the Tsuyakin Kogyo Co. needed something to do with it.  Founded in 2008, the Kurakin company was put to the task of designing and marketing the delightful cloth baskets and pouches you see above.  Unfortunately, these are currently only available for sale through their Japanese language site.  Of course, there is always Google Translator if you’re feeling really desperate for one of those cute baskets.  I know I am!

One Response to “Japan – Kurakin’s Nokori Dye”

  1. Katherine Stevens Says:

    In Natchez, MS we visited a home where one room with plaster walls had been painted with milk paint, colored with blueberries. It was over 150 years old at the time, and the color was still quite vivid.

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