Some Komon Dyeing Technique
The history of this craft can be traced back to the Muromachi period (1392-1573), but it was not until the Edo period (1600-1868) that this fine patterned cloth was produced in any quantity. Stencil-dyed cloth was especially used for the kamishimo, a piece of formal dress worn by the Daimyo. These regional feudal lords were required to reside in Edo for long periods and the resulting increase in demand for the cloth made Edo the center of its production. Originally, it was only the Daimyo and samurai classes who wore garments of this cloth.
By the middle of the 18th century, however, the merchant classes were coming into their own and developed a desire to dress finely. Sumptuary laws eventually relaxed so that those who could afford the cloth were now able to enjoy the rich designs and the craft flourished.
The techniques of Some Komon have been honed over many generations and the designs have experienced a resurgence in popularity.