Dyeing and weaving. Urban sophistication into every thread.

Shimoi Tsumugi, a type of woven fabric created by a textile artist named Shimoi Nobuhiko in Iida City, Nagano Prefecture.

Originally an active textile designer, Mr. Shimoi uses his experience to create sophisticated and urban designs of tsumugi (a type of silk fabric).

Unlike typical fabric manufacturing, which often involves a division of labor, Mr. Shimoi's workshop handles the entire process in-house, from thread making and dyeing to weaving.

His ability to repeatedly combine dye materials until satisfaction is achieved and to employ various weaving techniques in a flexible production style is often referred to as "Shimoi Magic".



After studying textile design at a design college, Mr. Shimoi first flourished as a designer of Western style clothing in Tokyo before becoming a textile artist.
His unique sense of design, a fusion of Japanese and Western styles, produces attractive fabric designs that shine in the modern urban landscape.
To translate his carefully considered designs into actual woven structures, he often utilizes computer simulations.


Thread Making

The secret to Mr. Shimoi's ability to create such a diverse range of fabrics lies in his in-house yarn production.
Achieving the ideal texture requires his personal touch in creating original threads. Using a spinning machine,
he creates threads with a variety of textures and properties. In addition,
each individual Tsumugi thread undergoes a fuzz removal process to ensure the high quality of the yarn.



The pigments for his natural dyes come from trees growing near his workshop.
He is constantly experimenting with new colors and is not limited to the dyes he has used in the past. In addition to natural dyes,
he occasionally mixes in chemical dyes to overcome the tendency of natural dyes to fade.



Shimoi tsumugi, sometimes woven with up to 20 heddles, is different from other tsumugi fabrics.
In a unique approach, Shimoi Tsumugi uses tsumugi yarn for both warp and weft, which,
unlike conventional methods, requires the weaver to be extremely careful to prevent the shuttle from snagging.
In this way, the weaver and the loom work in unison, advancing the weave with meticulous care.

Note: Heddles (綜絖, "soukou") are mechanisms in a loom that raise and lower the warp threads individually.