Kimono Cloth Dyeing in Kanazawa
Charming Kanazawa is not only home to beautiful art, architecture and one of Japan’s most exquisite cuisines; it is also the birthplace of refined traditional crafts valued as some of the finest in the country. Kanagawa is synonymous with gold leaf and any visitor should try their hand at decorating a small laquer plate or a pair of chopstick with this thin, sparkling, precious material that adds of luxurious intrigue. We also advice familiarizing oneself with kagayuzen, a form of kimono cloth dyeing that is undoubtedly a Kanazawa specialty. It is even possible to decorate a handkerchief using this traditional technique and keep your creations as souvenirs of this memorable experience.
Henna is a natural dye that people have been using for thousands of years to stain their skin and hair. In Indian culture, henna remains a popular beauty tool and is used to draw swirling patterns that last up to three weeks. The most common place to get henna is on the hands and feet and the designs are traditionally of flowers and suns. Getting a henna tattoo is a must before Indian weddings or holidays like Deepavali, and you’ll find dozens of small beauty salons in Little India offering henna at bargain prices. Most salons have an album with photos of their past work so you can choose a design, or you can just tell the henna artist to draw whatever she feels like (henna is usually drawn by and drawn on women).
Henna is applied to the skin as a black paste requiring the recipient to stay very still so it doesn’t smudge. The paste needs to stay in contact with your skin for at least 30 minutes – the longer you leave the henna on, the darker the henna tattoo will be. Once the paste is dry and starts to flake off it can be removed with the resulting tattoo lasting about a fortnight. Look for henna artists in the Little India Arcade building and along Buffalo Road. If you’re confident in your own artistic skills, you can buy cones of henna paste at shops in Little India.