• Natural Indigo Dyeing
  • Unique Texture
  • Excellent Moisture Absorption

Indigo Dyeing and Awa Shijira Weave Products

A unique weaving technique handed down in Tokushima Prefecture, located in the Shikoku region of Japan,
Nagao Orifu's "Awa Shijira-ori" is the creation of Tokushima's beautiful water, indigo, and craftsmanship.

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Established in 1897
Since its establishment as a general partnership company in 1933, Nagao Orifu has been manufacturing cotton fabrics, including its flagship products, a traditional craft known as "Awa Shijira" weave. We also deal in indigo-dyed products, and have been engaged in the entire process, from dyeing to weaving and finishing, at our weaving manufacturer established in 1897.
Craftsmanship Recognized as Cultural Assets
Craftsmanship Recognized as Cultural Assets
Shijira weave dyed with natural Awa indigo dyes was designated as a prefectural intangible cultural asset as "Awa Sho-Ai Shijira-ori" in 1963 and also recognized as a traditional craft by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 1978.
Sold Internationally
Sold Internationally
Born in Japan, Awa Shijira weave has participated in international exhibitions and has been well received not only in Asia but also in the U.S. and Europe. We will strive to continue to make our products known to more audiences in the world.

Features of Nagao Orifu

Indigo Dyeing

“Japan Blue,” a color that has a long history and strong connection with Japanese culture, is achieved by indigo dyeing using "sukumo" (fermented indigo leaves). This natural dye is made by adding nutrients such as alkali and glucose to sukumo and letting it sit still for about a week. The fabric is repeatedly soaked in the dye solution to achieve a deeper, brighter color, and only the products dyed with indigo grown in Awa are allowed to carry the Sho-Ai label. Indigo dyeing is characterized by its deep colors that develop with repeated washing and is said to have anti-insect and anti-odor effects. Each product is carefully hand-dyed by our craftsmen, so no two are the same.

Awa Shijira Weave

During the reign of Lord Hachisuka, the former feudal lord of Awa, the use of silk cloth was strictly forbidden to the general populace. The common people, therefore, used cotton fabrics and devised various methods to present a brilliant appearance. Awa Shijira weave is said to have been invented by Hana Kaifu, a weaver from Awa-Atake Village, at the time of the Meiji Restoration, after painstaking research inspired by an uneven cloth that had been soaked in the rain and shrunk. The main feature of this fabric is that it uses the difference in tension of the warp threads, which creates a unique texture and excellent coloring. It also allows air to pass through the fabric well and provides a light, cool, and comfortable feel without sticking to the skin.

Reasons to Choose
Our Indigo Dyed and Awa Shijira Products

Natural Indigo Dye
Natural Indigo Dye
Natural indigo dyes well on cotton and is resistant to sunlight and washing, so the more it is washed, the more well textured the fabric becomes. The fragrance that increases with weathering has an insect-repelling effect, and indigo is said to have medicinal properties that protect the skin, making it very suitable for use in clothing.
One-and-Only Texture Achieved by Original Manufacturing Process
One-and-Only Texture Achieved by Original Manufacturing Process
The woven fabric is then dipped in boiling water at 75°C and dried, which brings out the uneven texture that creates a light, cool, and comfortable feel. The cotton material is also highly hygroscopic, making it ideal for use as summer clothing.
Excellent Water Absorption
Excellent Water Absorption
Products made with Awa Shijira weaving are made of cotton, which provides excellent absorbency. While the products can be used for all seasons, the superior absorbency is great to keep you cool in the hot season. The fabric is also characterized by its uneven texture on the surface.

Examples of Fabric Application

Our fabrics are used by:

Sports manufacturersfor sneakers
Sports manufacturersfor sneakers
Luxury brands for interior furniture
Luxury brands for interior furniture
Japanese international manufacturers for jinbei
Japanese international manufacturers for jinbei
Japanese and international brands for seasonal collections
Japanese and international brands for seasonal collections

Order Flow

Step 1: Contact
Please contact us via the inquiry form with details of your order request.
Step 2: Consultation
After discussing the quality, size, etc., we will propose fabrics theat meet your image, cost, and delivery date.
Step 3: Create trial fabrics
We will create a sample trial fabric. You will be able to see the actual product and confirm what kind of shape and material it is made of.
Step 4: Quotation
After details are determined, we will send you a quote.
Step 5: Production begins
Production will begin after the quote is accepted and details are finalized.


If your question is not resolved after reading these, please contact us from the “Inquiries” button below.

What is the turnaround time for production?

It typically takes about 2 to 3 months, but we recommend you consult with our staff as it depends on the quantity. If we have the product in stock, we will send it to you as soon as possible.

Is it possible to see the product in person before purchasing?

If you need a pattern sample, we can send you a swatch or a trial weaving. Please contact us for the price.

What materials are used for the products?

Most of our products are 100% cotton, but there is also an option to add wool, silk, or synthetic fibers, to the weft yarn to change the texture and thickness of the fabric. As for materials, we ask for a minimum of 300m per color for both narrow cloth (38cm) and wide cloth (114cm).

What is the lot size?

Customers can choose the lot size, but the minimum lot is 13m length and 38cm width, and 300m for one color. We also accept orders that do not meet the minimum lot with an upcharge. Please consult us for the price. Samples will take about one month to complete, depending on the material.

Is there a difference in color between the photo and the actual product?

The colors in the photo may differ slightly from the actual product depending on the light and angle. Our products are available in 108 colors, from which we perform color proofing. We also have several product samples available for customers to choose from.

Is it possible to get samples?

We can send a small amount of fabric swatches, but there is a sample charge. We can also send photos of your request via our website or in the attached document.

How can I contact you?

Please contact us via email in English.

Message from CEO

Itaro Nagao

Itaro Nagao

We are a long-established weaving company founded in 1897 and have been manufacturing cotton fabrics since then. We handle the entire process, from dyeing to weaving and finishing, in one continuous operation, which allows us to carefully produce and check products tailored to customers’ requests and deliver them in a short time.
Our main products are "Awa Shijira weave" fabrics and "indigo-dyed products," which are dyed by hand by our skilled craftsmen.
Originally created for Japanese kimonos, this fabric is used for both Japanese and Western clothing as well as interior decoration with a variety of color shades and patterns. Old buildings, looms, and machines from 60 to 70 years ago are still in use, and the craftsmen's skills and techniques have been passed down and preserved over the years. While much of the work is done by hand, we are committed to diligent manufacturing, aiming to produce high quality goods through constant innovations and improvements.
In recent years, we have also been participating in overseas exhibitions and business meetings to promote our high quality products developed in Japan to international audiences. We hope our website sparks your interest and motivation to learn more about our products.

Company Profile
Company Name
Nagao Orifu
Phone No.
189 Kokufucho Wada, Tokushima, 779-3121
Year of Establishment
Company Timeline
Awarded the Silver Cup in the Cotton and English Flannell categories at the Tairei Memorial Exposition
Established as a corporationItaro Nagao assumes as the role of the Representative Officer
Manufacture and delivery of textile products for military use
Achieved the current "Shijira Weaving" production technique using indigo dye, a specialty of Awa, after repeated refinements
Totaro Nagao established a cotton fabric weaving business
Totaro Nagao assumes the role of the Representative Officer
“Awa Sho-Ai Shijira Weaving” designated as a prefectural intangible cultural asset
Applied for the trademark "Awa Sho-Ai Shijira Weaving"
“Awa Sho-Ai Shijira Weaving” designated as a traditional craft by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
“Awa Shijira Weaving” registered as a regional collective trademark with the Japan Patent Office
Certified as traditional craftsmen of Awa Sho-Ai Shijira Weaving by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Itaro Nagao assumes the role of the current Representative Officer
Appointed as the Chairman of Awa Shijira Weaving Cooperative Association
Traditional Crafts Awards
Totaro Nagao awarded for "Distinguished Service to Traditional Craft Industries" by Director-General of the Shikoku Bureau of International Trade and Industry
Exhibited at the "Furusatozukuri Concours" and received Tokushima Prefecture Governor's Commendation
Held an indigo dyeing group exhibit at the 12th National Cultural Festival Kagawa '97, was awarded the Prize of Excellence
Received Medal with Yellow Ribbon for longtime achievements in Shijira Weaving and indigo dyeing, and for the contributions to regional development
Received a commendation by the Minister of Home Affairs for the Kokufu Street Corner Museum (Aizome Shijira Museum), for community development of Tokushima Prefecture
Itaro Nagao awarded for Distinguished Services to Traditional Craft Industries by the Director General of Shikoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
Itaro Nagao awarded for Distinguished Services to Traditional Craft Industries by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

Inquiry Form

Please fill out the form below to contact us.

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