Dyeing Traditions at Tezomeya

Love true, natural indigo tones but hate boiling large amounts of plant matter and insects in your apartment? Jon at Bandanna Almanac recently shared that Kyoto dye workshop Tezomeya has made ordering online easier for those outside Japan (Jon works for Tezomeya). They use traditional dyes to add deep, complex color to their own line as well as dyeing customers’ items to order. The natural dyes and time-intensive methods represent another layer in the textile history of Japan, like the boro fabrics Derek mentioned in a recent post.

Tezomeya’s accessibility is good news for people who dig styles like 45RPM or Kapital. The palette they offer is limited to primarily plant based dyes, and is therefore mostly on the earth tone spectrum, with pomegranate, madder (red), and indigo-derived colors among the most appealing. The workshop uses a lot of loopwheeled knits as well as denim and broadcloth. Tezomeya’s stuff sometimes veers close to what you’d find for sale next to the tapestries at a college town head shop, but the deep dye tshirts and scarves would look great with faded denim and scuffed leather jackets and boots, as well as anything else that improves with wear and tear. Natural dyes often look slightly uneven when new, and fade nicely with time moreso than synthetics; Tezomeya offers a lifetime of free re-dyes/overdyes should you feel the color has faded too much.

Tezomeya’s goods are not cheap, but prices are comparable to or less than those of similar lines, with dyed tshirts prices around $80 (tie dye just under $100), hoodies around $200, and scarves about $60. (A 45RPM long sleeve t is $200.) Other things to keep in mind if considering an order:

  • Sizing is based on wearer’s height, which is unusual, but the site is helpfully clear about individual garment measurements.
  • Orders are shipped via reliable and quick EMS and customers are charged the actual cost of shipping (vs a flat rate).
  • Items not in stock are dyed to order and therefore may take a few weeks to ship.
  • All transactions are completed via Paypal.

-Pete