The kimono has been associated with the image of Japan for centuries. In Japan itself, Kyoto has been the main center for kimono and textile production for more than 1000 years. Two methods of kimono manufacturing in Kyoto are silk weaving (Nishijin-Ori) and silk dyeing (Kyo-Yuzen). At the request of the imperial court, the silk weaving was developed for beautiful fabrics and elegant clothing and includes the coloration of the yarn before it is woven into patterns and pictures. In the silk dyeing process, the images and patterns are dyed after the fabric is made.
Although demand for kimonos has dropped dramatically since the introduction of western clothing in Japan during the Meiji period, Kyoto is still famous for kimonos and textiles. Nishijin Textile Center, located in the center of Kyoto in the Nishijin Weaving Mill, is an association of more than 700 small businesses that continue to cultivate and promote the old textile tradition.
The seven-story Nishijin Building is located on Horikawa Street, south of Imadegawa. The Nishijin Textile Museum is a museum, a factory, a shop and a gallery in one.