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Matsusaka Momen

Maison Matsusaka Momen (Matsusaka Cotton), a dyeing and weaving workshop, was founded in 1874. Matsusaka cotton is a fabric produced in the Matsusaka region, using indigo-dyed cotton yarn and featuring a striped pattern known as "Matsusaka-jima". These traditional designs were very popular in Edo (now Tokyo). The simplicity of the patterns and the indigo colour give these fabrics a timeless beauty.

History of Matsusaka Momen

When, in the second half of the 5th century, the weaving techniques known as "AYAHATORI" and "KUREHATORI" arrived from China, they were developed in the present-day town of Matsusaka, in Mie prefecture. Matsusaka then became a very important centre in Japan for fabric production due to the introduction of these new techniques. In the year 698, textiles produced in Matsusaka were commissioned as regular offerings to the god Amaterasu.

In the 15th century, cotton, originally from Egypt and India, was introduced to Japan. The soil in the town of Matsusaka was ideal for growing high-quality cotton, and combined with the advanced spinning and weaving techniques already in place to produce Matsusaka cotton.

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The designs of Matsusaka fabrics

The artistic taste of the women producing this new fabric, combined with the skill of the Matsusaka merchants, led to annual sales of 500,000 units in Edo shops, equivalent to half the city's population at the time. The original "Matsusaka-jima" striped pattern has its roots in a fabric called "RYUJOUFU" which originated in Vietnam, and whose name expresses the fine, thin shape of the veins on willow leaves.

This pattern of thin stripes has become the traditional motif of Matsusaka Momen. Even today, Kabuki actors wear Matsusaka striped kimonos.

National treasure

The Matsusaka Momen manufacturing process is now considered a national treasure.

Products made of Matsusaka Coton