Hand made, for every day
Without compromises on quality or traditions, Ikeuchi Yūzen creates kimono fabric for daily-use goods.
Ikeuchi Yūzen is a yūzen dyeing workshop based in Kyoto, in the Arashiyama area. Founded in 1980, they specialize in itome-yūzen technique, a particular style through which the design is created by leaving white, uncolored patterns on the fabric.
Through their Somea brand, Ikeuchi produces goods and objects for daily use, such as wallets and bags, with yūzen-dyed fabric. This way, they make a contemporary use of the traditional dyeing technique, which was originally only used to manufacture fabric for goods of a very special nature, such as kimonos.
Using kimono fabric to create superior goods
Ikeuchi Yūzen fully designs and hand-makes each of their goods, from the fabric to the final product.
As with any yūzen product, the process includes up to 16 stages, including designing, drawing, dyeing and painting. Each operation is hand-made by the Ikeuchi family. The direct handling of all stages of the process not only guarantees that each step is made with the utmost care, but also allows the creation of unique designs, while also leaving a certain amount of freedom when it comes to what colors to use and what shapes to draw and paint. This combination ensures that every item is made following the rules laid by their predecessors, and paves the way to a whole new range of uses for the traditional fabric.
The Somea brand stands by the founder's desire to "draw the beauty of the heart". In addition, their guidelines to design both patterns and goods are expressed in three words: natural, elegant, and contemporary.
Thanks to this concept, the Somea brand blends vivid colors with elegants looks, creating a peculiar feel that you rarely find in other yūzen designs.
Masahiro Takeuchi, the founder's son, currently manages the Somea brand, focusing on his decision to make yūzen more known and accessible to the younger generations. To achieve this, he personally dyes each piece of fabric used in their products, and runs operations in the creation of objects for daily use, such as wallets, coin cases and card cases.
Masahiro Takeuchi, the founder's son, talks about the feelings behind the creation of each product in this video.