Mokuhan dyeing

photo Mokuhan dyeing


For mokuhan-zome which means mokuhan dyeing, a brush is used to apply dye to wooden blocks with designs carved into them. Blocks are placed on the fabric and pounded with a hammer to transfer the design. Each individual block has a simple design, but they can be arranged in various ways to create larger overall patterns.
This technique is intriguing because even with a single repeated design, it is possible to create color gradations or combine blocks in various ways to create more complicated overall patterns.


  1. 1.A wood block for the desired design is selected.
  2. 2.Blue flower liquid dye, which will be washed out later, is used to draw a rough draft on the fabric.
  3. 3.The wood blocks painted with dye are lined up with the rough draft and pounded on the fabric to transfer the dye.
  4. 4.Paste is applied over the pattern, the fabric is dyed with the base color, then steam-washed and completed.
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo Reference artworks