Founded in 1555, Chiso has developed the craft of Kyoto-style yuzen textile dyeing for generations. Yuzen is a complex process that involves the expert application of rice paste to create a barrier which forms crisp separations between dyed areas. Chiso’s commitment to innovation has led it to revitalise yuzen designs through collaborations with Japanese painters and pioneer new techniques such as velvet and stencil yuzen. During the postwar years, Chiso became renowned for producing yuzen kimono of the highest quality, even attracting the patronage of the imperial family.
Chiso contributes greatly to the conservation of traditional techniques and maintains a valuable historical archive containing around 20,000 pieces. In the face of waning demand for traditional crafts, Chiso has ventured into new fields, working closely with fashion brands and artists from around the world, and has established the Institute for Chiso Arts and Culture to promote the use and preservation of cultural properties.