Miyako ramie - a delicate textile from Miyako Island, Okinawa, Japan

Miyako Jofu is a textile produced on the island of Miyako, in the most southern part, Okinawa, Japan.

It is woven from a plant called ramie and dyed by Ryukyu indigo (Okinawa used to be called Ryuku Kingdom). The fine fiber for weaving is taken from ramie by hand, which makes the textile to be breathable.

This textile has a smooth and lustrous texture with a waxy appearance. From spinning of the ramie to to completing a roll of textile, it takes a few years. A tie-dye method is used to repeatedly dye the warp threads with Ryukyu indigo and at least 1120 threads are used to form the warp thread. Weaving alone takes at least a few months. 

Miyako Jofu is so strong that it is said you can use it for 3 generations.

The textile weaving of ramie in Miyako Island started around 15th century. In the early 17th century, it was given to the government as a tax. So it became responsibility of many women in Ryukyu island to weave ramie textile. 

 

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