The nishijin kimono lives again in the creations of the Kyoto company.
Kyoraku Kougei is a family-run company in the Kyoto district that produces luxury furniture, shop fittings, interior architectural materials and commemorative objects using techniques related to the nishijin kimono. Nishijin was in fact the historical name of the renowned district of Kyoto famous for the production of kimonos in the particular Nishijin brocade.
At Kyoraku Kougei they work every day to preserve this traditional artisan technique – one of the best in Japan – and pass it on to future generations. The company sells its products internationally, mostly to Russia, Germany and France. In Italy the main customers are fashion houses and luxury car manufacturers, in Guam luxury retailers and in Japan, luxury restaurants.
The manufacturing process starts from the textile threads which are extracted from the Nishijin kimono and then fixed on a curly maple board. The unique wavy patterns create a “3D effect” of the curled wood across the board which is then polished and crafted using traditional Japanese techniques exclusive to Kyoraku Kougei, to create a shiny and luxurious texture.
UV coating technology provides a high-quality, heat-resistant “mirror finish” that can be applied to large surfaces. Through complex artisanal techniques, gold and silver threads are transformed into sheets to create a wide range of furnishing objects.
Another traditional technique used is raden (mother-of-pearl inlay), which can create elaborate and beautiful designs using a wide variety of oysters.
Finally, the traditional moku-zougan (wood inlay) technique involves cutting wood into decorative shapes and inlaying them with carved grooves.