Nishijin Ori is the most famous brocade in Japan. The roots of Kyoto’s Nishijin brocade go back 1,200 years, to a time when Japan’s Imperial Court employed weavers to produce high-quality, luxury fabrics for the court’s nobles. By the middle of the Heian Period 794-1192, such state-owned textile operations were on the decline, and weavers increasingly chose to set up their own independent workshops. At the same time, new weaving techniques were arriving from Sung Dynasty China, which the Nishijin weavers were.