Japanese Urushi Textiles

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

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Urushi Textiles

Urushi is Japanese lacquer. It has many uses and one is in textile design.

Thread, usually silk, is coated with lacquer, then used to weave beautiful textile art. Textile with urushi weave is found on some kimonos, on obis and is particularly popular on haori kimono jackets. You can see several urushi haori here (and hundreds more on my website).

Urushi is sometimes just a coloured lacquer but often it’s metallic, found in shades of gold, silver, pewter, copper, bronze and a whole rainbow of metallic colours. On some garments it is quite subtle, on others it is bright and spectacular.

While kimonos may have a somewhat limited use in the West, mostly worn at home as robes, haori jackets are very wearable with western clothing. Haori are wafuku (traditional Japanese clothing), designed to be worn over kimonos, but are lovely worn with yofuku (non Japanese style clothing), looking wonderful worn casually with jeans and the like or dressed up for a special occasion. The designs make them extra special and urushi ones are real eye catchers.




  1. Hi Ceri, Just had to google you and take a look at your site. Izzy is drooling over your kimonos. Possibly a sale in the offing.

    I love your christmas photos.


  2. Hello! What an amazing collection! Do you know more about urushi textiles? I’m trying to do a paper on the links between lacquer and textiles, and it would be great if you could help me! Thank you for sharing

    1. I’m afraid I know very little about them, only that the silk thread is coated in urushi (Japanese lacquer) and then woven into the textiles.

      1. Thank you for your fast answer. Would you know anything on who made these kimonos or where they were made perhaps?

  3. Urushi textiles are still made today. You also often find them used in obi.
    I don’t who the makers are.

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