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Higashihama uses about 1,000m warp and 700m woof for a Tatami-sized Ako-dantsu rug. We choose our threads carefully to best express the delicate designs and subtleties of Japanese colors. The thread material is a high-quality cotton known as Khoma thread. At Higashihama we bundle threads together, which are then sent off to professional dyers who dye them with beautiful, even colors.
A Tatami-sized Ako-dantsu rug(95cm×190cm) takes about half a year for a weaver to complete. There are three processes. First is “trimming the line”, which makes grooves of equal thickness between the motifs. Second is “trimming the field”, and third is “elaborate the trimming.” All three require perseverance as the weaver cuts with 5-inch-long scissors, called “bending scissors”, custom-made by only one metalsmith in Sakai city. With these scissors, hard work, and a soft touch, the three processes result in beautiful artistic design.
Nabeshima and Sakai-dantsu rugs are made using vertical looms, but Ako-dantsu rugs are actually made on horizontal looms. The horizontal Ako-dantsu loom was made by cabinetmakers a long time ago, but there are only a few of them today. Higashihama hosts a brand new Ako-dantsu loom, crafted by the finest master carpenter they could find.
We aim to make our own Ako-dantsu rugs at Higashihama that combine traditional and original patterns with bold new colors to appeal to a fresh, young generation. An example is found in the piece, “A Paper Balloon,” which is an original Higashihama pattern that represents a cute girl who has grown into womanhood with kindness and flexibility, like a fluffy paper balloon. The proper Ako-dantsu rug can be an excellent gift or memento for anniversaries, birthdays, coming-of-age ceremonies, and marriages.
Higashihama is an Ako-dantsu rug studio and gallery that combines traditional Japanese and Western styles. Please come and experience the world of Ako-dantsu rugs.