Day 6 we drove 2 hours out of Naha to the Kijoka Bashofu Cooperative where precious cloth is made out of banana plant fibers. The cloth is called bashofu.
We saw the special banana plants cultivated for the fibers in the stalks. These plants aren’t grown for their fruit and the plants must be cultivated–wild ones can’t be used.
Double ikat patterns are typical of basho cloth that I am familiar with.
We visited a famous weaver Kyoto Shukumine who has exhibited a lot and is known for her distinctive colorful cloth.
There are special pattern shafts in addition to two shafts that are for the ground cloth.
The pattern shafts are operated with the weaver’s toes or in this case her foot to pull down the required pattern shafts while the other foot operates the treadle for the ground plain weave.