Yuki-sarashi (snow bleaching) is the process of spreading the woven cloth out on the snowfield and exposing it to the sun. It is an essential part of the process of making Echigo jofu, and the sight of the cloth exposed to the pure white snow is unique to YUKIGUNI (snow country).

Yuki-sarashi takes place in mid-February and late March, when there are many sunny days. Snow bleaching is said to have the effect of removing dirt. This is due to the fact that when the snow melts, ozone is produced, which bleaches the vegetable fibres. The number of days it takes depends on the type of fabric and the stain, but usually it takes about a week.

In his book "Hokuetsu Seppu", Bokushi Suzuki wrote about Yuki-sarashi. It is the wisdom of living in a snowy climate.

"The yarn is made in the snow, woven in the snow, soaked in snow water and bleached on the snow. In the snow, there is shrinkage, and so Echigo-shunyu is famous for being a product of snow, people and energy. The snow of Uonuma County is the parent of shrinkage." (From "Hokuetsu Seppu")

On the following pages you will find the story of Yuki-Sarashi (snow bleaching) and Echigo jofu.
Relation Between Kimono Fabrics And Snow