Formal kimono with design in yūzen dyeing. “Inclined path”
Yuzen-zome is one of Japan's best-known traditional dyeing processes. It involves drawing designs on white fabric with paste and dyeing it multiple colors. After the fabric has been cut into a kimono shape, an underpainting is drawn in a dye called aobana-eki (blue flower liquid) that washes out without leaving a trace. Thread paste is then applied over the lines of the underpainting, creating masked-off lines that prevent color from mixing. Then, the areas of color are filled in. Finally the paste is washed out. In the style known as itome-yuzen it leaves fine white lines where it had been, while in sekidashi-yuzen the entirety of the fabric is dyed so that no white lines remain.