Chirimen (a kind of plain woven fabrics) (ちりめん)

"Chirimen" (crepe in French) is a kind of plain woven silk cloth. It is made of alternately interwoven warp and weft yarns, the former being little twisted and the latter hard twisted. Weft yarns are twisted right-handed or left-handed each of which is alternately inwoven. Because of such construction, the chirimen cloth shrinks and grains (concavity and convexity) appear on its surface after refining process. Chirimen cloth is used mainly for high-grade kimono and furoshiki (wrapping cloth). Its major production areas are the Tango region in Kyoto Prefecture where Tango Chirimen R is produced and Nagahama City in Shiga Prefecture where Hama Chirimen is produced. At present, in the Tango region of Kyoto Prefecture, a new type of Tango Chirimen R is being turned out, using cotton and synthetic yarns instead of silk yarns as material yarns.

Since chirimen fabrics made of silk and rayon will shrink if dipped in water, they must avoid any wet condition. Chirimen cloths made of polyester fibers are water-resistant.

Miscellaneous affairs related to chirimen

In the TV drama Mito-komon of Panasonic Drama Theater, its central character, Mitsukuni TOKUGAWA, identifies himself as 'Mitsuemon, a chirimen dealer in Echigo Province.'

[Original Japanese]