Kimono History: The Asuka era

The oldest textiles still in existence are from the Asuka period (552-645CE). A fully developed textile industry had come into existence during the Nara period (645-794CE). Examples of some of these fabrics still exist.

In the year 701 a Bureau of the Palace Wardrobe was established in the Ministry of Central Affairs along with an office of the Guild of the Needle in the Ministry of the Treasury. There was also a Palace Dyeing Office in the Imperial Household Ministry and an office of the Guild of Needleworkers and the Guild of Weavers.

In 711 experts were sent out to the outlying provinces to teach craftsmen how to make silk, brocade and twill.

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