Zenmai Ori

Kameda striped textiles were born during the feudal government period in Kameda district in Yurihonjyo City, Iwashiro. Lower-class samurai and merchants produced this textile with thread spun from cotton. In the Meiji era, the textile manufacturer Yujiro Sato designed Zenmai Shiratori Ori using zenmai cotton and swans’ feathers. This textile was made into a product in 1897 and the equivalent of approximately 20 square kilometers was produced in the Taisho era. However, manufacturing was terminated in 1931 once flannel was invented. Subsequent plans to revive Zenmai Ori failed until 1979, when Iwashiro town revived it as Amasagi Zenmai Ori using modern dyeing techniques. The revived Zenmai Ori uses blended yarns of cotton from the young bud of zenmai (osmunda) and swans’ feather blended with pure cotton. These yarns become the weft yarn and are woven with the warp, which is silk yarn. The production process includes plant-dyeing threads, spinning, and loom-weaving, and takes roughly two months in all. Other than Amasagi Zenmai Ori that is handspun and handwoven, there is Akita Zenmai Ori, which is machine-woven.