In search of forgotten colours – Sachio Yoshioka and the art of natural dyeing

Produced as part of Beguiling Beni: Safflower Red in Japanese Fashion

On now until Sunday, 31 March 2024

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Meet Sachio Yoshioka, the fifth-generation head of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Fushimi, southern Kyoto, Japan. When he took over the family business in 1988, Yoshioka abandoned the use of synthetic colours in favour of dyeing solely with plants and other natural materials. Thirty years on, the workshop produces an extensive range of extremely beautiful colours.

Step inside the workshop and watch as Yoshioka and his highly skilled team walk us through the dyeing processes. Find out how 'beni' red pigment is made from safflower petals, how 'murasaki' purple is made from the roots of the purple gromwell flower, and see special paper flowers being dyed for the sacred Omizutori ceremony at the Nigatsudō hall of the Tōdaiji temple in Nara.

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