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Yūki-tsumugi (結城紬) is the Japanese craft of silk cloth practised chiefly in the vicinity of Yūki in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is designated one of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Japan and has also been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Developing from earlier silk techniques, the name Yūki-tsumugi was adopted in 1602. Weavers were invited from Ueda and the cloth, at first plain, was used as gifts for the shōgun. Currently approximately one hundred and thirty craftsmen transmit the technique in Yūki and Oyama.
Silk floss is extracted from silkworm cocoons and spun by hand into yarn. Patterns are added by tie-dyeing, before weaving with a loom known as a jibata (地機). The strap around the weaver's waist enables the tension of the vertical thread to be adjusted. It can take up to fifteen days to weave enough plain fabric for an adult garment, and up to forty-five days for patterned fabric.
In 1956 Yūki-tsumugi was designated one of the Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Japan. The Association for the Preservation of the Honba Yūki-tsumugi Weaving Technique (本場結城紬技術保持会) was established in 1976 and helps promote and transmit the craft. Yūki Daiichi High School in Yūki has a Yūki-tsumugi club. In 2010 Yūki-tsumugi was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.