Weavers typically work out of their homes during the humid winter months, usually on commission from a weaving company. The loom that they use to weave Echigo jōfu is a semi-frame backstrap loom (jibata or izaribata). The weaver controls the tension of the warp with her body, sitting upright when inserting the shuttle through the main shed or when beating in the weft and leaning forward slightly when opening the countershed. She opens the countershed by bending her knee and pulling the strap on her foot, which is attached to an arched beam that lifts the harness with its string heddles. She beats in the wefts with both a large, sword-shaped shuttle and a free-moving reed inserted into a sturdy frame.

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  • Title: Weaving Echigo Jōfu
  • Subject Keywords: Echigo Jōfu
  • Type: Textile, Kimono
  • Rights: Photo: Courtesy of Otani Tokuko and Honda Textiles, Minamiuonuma.
  • Medium: Handwoven