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Chirimen

Kanji, Kana & Pronunciation
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Romaji Chirimen
Kanji 金紗, 縮緬
Kana ちりめん
Audio Coming Soon
(n) Silk crêpe


A fabric created by preparing the weft from two separate bobbins of gummed thread twisted together. After weaving, the gum is washed out and the tension exerted by the more densely packed weft threads creates the characteristic wavy or puckered surface.


Characteristics

A soft silk fabric with characteristic crimped or wavy surface. Its surface is more crimped than kinsha, fine crepe.

History

Chirimen first appeared in the late Momoyama or the early Edo period. The technique was imported from China via Osaka and quickly spread to the Nishijin district of Kyoto. Other regions of Japan imported the technique from Kyoto, but quickly regional distinctions arose in dyeing and thread treatments. Famous regional examples include tango chirimen from Kyoto Prefecture and hama (hitokoshi) chirimen from Nagahama City (Shiga Prefecture).

Today synthetic chirimen can be made from rayon or polyester and is a popular choice in activities which carry a high degree of risk of staining such as tea ceremony practice and waitressing.

Examples

Formality & TPO

TPO - Within Japan

Occasion Acceptable
Hotel Wedding Reception
Restaurant Wedding Reception
Formal Party
Casual Party
Dinner
Lunch
Tea Gathering
Graduation Ceremony
Practice
Theatre, Concert
Exhibition
Travel
Yes - Acceptable to wear.
OK - OK to wear if no suitable alternatives.
No - Unacceptable to wear.


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References