漆芸の「摺漆」工程 Lacquer art “Suri-urushi” process


In response to requests from overseas, this post will be a detailed summary of ”Suri-urushi”(Uwazuri), which is one of the processes of lacquer art, based on my experience and reference materials. This post is for those who are wondering about lacquer and who want to use lacquer in the future.

摺漆 Suri-urushi



“Suri-Urushi” is the process of making a very thin and uniform lacquer coating.

The image is that the painted part is coated with lacquer film.


It is also called Fuki-urushi or Fukiage-urushi, but they all refer to the same process. (In the following sentences, the process itself is called “Suri-urushi” for easy understanding.)

使用漆 Lacquer to use


The lacquer used for Suri-urushi is Ki-urushi.

この生漆の中でもこんな言い方の漆があります↓Among these Ki-urushi, there is a lacquer with this phrase ↓

  • 生正味(きじょうみ)漆 Kijyoumi-urushi
  • 上ズリ(うわずり)漆 Uwazuri-urushi
  • 伊勢早(いせはや)漆 Isehaya-urushi
  • 摺用上生漆 Suri-you jyo-ki-urushi


All of them refer to the same high-quality lacquer for Suri-urushi, except that the above names are different.


(In the following text, the lacquer used is called Kijyoumi-urushi.)

いつする工程?When to do the process “Suri-urushi”

スリ漆は漆芸の工程の中でも度々登場する工程です。Suri-urushi is a process that often appears in the process of lacquer art.

  • 木地に何回も摺漆を重ねて、木目を活かす漆塗りの技法の時(拭き漆とよく言われています)
  • 呂色漆の胴ずり(コンパウンド等)の後の艶あげ前
  • 研出蒔絵の研ぎの途中(上質ではない生漆でも可)研ぎの後
  • 蒔絵の金粉の粉固めをする時
  • At the time of lacquering technique that makes the best use of the grain of wood by layering lacquer on the wood many times (often called wiping lacquer,”Fuki-urushi”)
  • Before polishing after the body of Roiro lacquer (compound, etc.)
  • During the Togidashi-makie ( Ordinary Ki-urushi is also acceptable) After the sharpening
  • When compacting the gold powder of lacquer work Maki-e


High-quality lacquer, especially Japanese lacquer, is often used.


Since it is also described as Suri-urushi in the “The technique of lacquer work Togidashi-Makie” in the past post, it refers to this process. For an explanation of Roiro lacquer, please refer to the previous post “The black color of lacquer called “jet black(Shikkoku)”.


By the way, the wiping lacquer”Fuki-urushi” technique that makes the grain of wood look beautiful is said to have been popular since the Meiji era. This Suri-urushi process itself seems to be the process of using the Suri-urushi process before mirror polishing of Roiro lacquer historically.

生漆の様々な使い方 Various uses of Ki-urushi



It is used in various ways according to each situation.

Basically, Kijyoumi-urushi dries well, so it becomes relatively dark after it dries.


Based on this premise, it may be used by diluting it with turpentine oil or kerosene instead of using it as it is.

  • 拭き漆の最初の段階でのスリ漆(5回のうち1〜3回目くらい/30回のうち10回目までやるという例が多いです)
  • 蒔絵の粉固めの際
  • Suri-urushi at the first stage of Fuki-urushi (In many cases, it is done 1 to 3 times out of 5 times / 10 times out of 30 times)
  • When Maki-e solidifying lacquer powder


Both are methods to prevent unevenness and blackening.

また下地用の漆にも生漆が使われます。Ki-urushi is also used as the base lacquer.

  • 生漆+米粉糊→糊漆(のりうるし)/麦漆(むぎうるし)
  • 上記でできた糊漆 /麦漆+木粉+刻苧綿→刻苧漆(こくそうるし)
  • 生漆+砥粉+水→錆漆(さびうるし)
  • 生漆+砥粉+地の粉+水→地錆漆(じさびうるし)
  • Ki-urushi+Rice flour glue → Nori-urushi / Mugi-urushi
  • Glue lacquer made above / Nori-urushi + wood flour + chopped cotton → Kokuso-urushi
  • Ki-urushi + Tono-ko(Whetstone powder)+ water → Sabi-urushi
  • Ki-urushi + Tono-ko+Jino-ko (Diatomaceous earth powder)+water → Ji-sabi-urushi



How to mix and what to mix depends on the place of origin and the person. In addition, the amount to be mixed to adjust the viscosity changes depending on the temperature and humidity at that time.

Please note that the wording also differs depending on the place of origin.

艶上げ前の最終段階のスリ漆 Final stage Suri-urushi before polishing


Suri-urushi often appears in the process after lacquering Roiro-urushi and sharpening.

  1. 呂色漆の上塗りの研ぎ(細かい番手#3000以上まで)Sharpening the top coat of Roiro-urushi (fine count # 3000 or more)
  2. スリ漆・乾燥 Suri-urushi and dry
  3. 胴ずり(コンパウンド)Douzuri (compound)
  4. 油気をよく落とす(脱脂)Removes oil well (defatting)
  5. スリ漆・乾燥 Suri-urushi and dry
  6. 磨き Polish



Although it is the above method, there are cases where 2. and 5. Suri-urushi are omitted and the next step is continued.

The Suri-urushi itself and where you have to do it are different for each individual. I think it would be good to go through it and find a method that suits your work and intentions.

スリ漆の実際のやり方 The actual way of Suri-urushi




Of course, the actual method of Suri-urushi depends on the size and strength of the hand, so it depends on the person. This is a method that I personally arrived at, so I hope you can use it as a reference.

I remember when I first learned this process at school, I thought it was a strange process.

I think that the detailed method is different for each individual, but the basis of “wiping evenly” is the same.

注意ポイントを★で記します。↓Attention points are marked with ★. ↓

1.生正味漆をコットンに少量取る Take a small amount of Kijyoumi-urushi on cotton



★ Be careful not to remove too much or apply too much → It may cause unevenness or unwiped parts.

★ Cotton is recommended to be as resistant to fluffing as possible.→ To prevent cotton hair from sticking and remaining

2.スリ漆をする面に優しく撫でるように塗ります。Gently stroke the surface to be lacquered Suri-urushi.

薄く薄く塗った後の写真 Photo after applying thinly and thinly



★ You don’t have to apply it thickly → If you apply it thickly, it is difficult to wipe it off, and it is easy for it to be left unwiped.

★ It dries quickly, so apply it quickly.

3.テッシュ(又はスリ漆拭き取り用の紙など)で拭き取る Wipe off with a Tesh (or paper for Suri-urushi)


I’m always Tesh, so I’ll show you how to do it with Tesh.

①テッシュは贅沢に2枚か3枚重ねます。Stack two or three tesh luxuriously.


→ By stacking, it acts like a cushion to prevent damage to the lacquer surface.


There are various brands of this test, such as Kleenex and Scottie.
I usually use the normal type of Kleenex, but in the winter it dries and tends to generate static electricity, so I change it to Scottie in the winter.
Scottie has the impression that it is a little less fluffy.
(Both are from Nippon Paper Industries Krissha Co., Ltd.)

②1つの面で一通り拭き取る Wipe all over on one side

③面を替えて拭き取る Change the surface and wipe it off

④漆の付き具合を確認、最後に面を替えてもう一度拭き取る Check the condition of the lacquer, and finally change the surface and wipe it off again.



★ In the case of pickpocket lacquer before polishing, which should never be left unwiped, check the condition of the wipes several times to see if there is any unwiped residue, and if it is confirmed that there is no wipe left, it will be completed.

★ For Suri-urushi that has a pattern such as Maki-e, wipe it off so that the lacquer does not collect in the grooves in the pattern. If necessary, fold a cotton swab or tissue to remove lacquer such as fine grooves.

3.乾燥:一晩、20℃以上80%前後の湿度の環境で乾かすDrying: Dry overnight in an environment with a humidity of 20 ° C or higher and 80%.



★ Sometimes the Suri-urushi before polishing is layered twice (1 to 3 again).

★ The standard of drying time and the timing to move to the polishing process also differ from person to person.


In addition, the standard of perfection of the work itself differs from person to person, and there is no correct answer.

スリ漆後の磨き Polishing after Suri-urushi

※磨きの説明用写真は撮れ次第載せます。Photos for explaining polishing will be posted as soon as they are taken.

①種油を少量取りスリ漆をした面に塗ります。Take a small amount of seed oil and apply it to the doned-suriurushi lacquer surface.


★ If you apply too much, remove it with a tissue. → If you attach too much, it will be difficult to remove it later.

②呂色磨き粉を手の甲に馴染ませて、漆面で油と呂色粉を馴染ませて表面全体を均一に撫で磨きます。Apply Roiro polishing powder to the back of your hand, then apply oil and Roiro powder on the lacquer surface, and evenly stroke the entire surface.


★ There seems to be a way to do this after mixing Roiro scouring powder and rapeseed oil well first.

③段々と油気が無くなってきたら、最後に粉だけで軽く撫でて艶が上がっていれば完成です。When the oil gradually disappears, lightly stroke it with just the powder to make it glossy, and you’re done.


★ When using only powder, prevent oil from entering anymore → Because it is whitish and easy to cling to


★ Familiarize the powder well with your hands and do it without lumps of powder → If there are lumps, it will stick to the lacquer surface as it is.


The polishing time varies from person to person, so there are individual differences.

μmの世界 μm world




The molecule of lacquer and the scale of lacquer coating are the world of “micrometer”.

The thickness of one coating film is 5 to 50 μm, and even if it is applied three times, it does not reach 1 mm.

The final polishing process is exactly the world of μm.


The sharpening goes well, all the scratches are removed with Douzuri (compound), and the μm unevenness on the surface is coated with Suri-urushi and further smoothed by the final polishing to eliminate the refraction of light and create luster and luster.



Polishing evenly with this polish gives the final finish of smoothness.

If you polish it too much, the film coated with Suri-urushi lacquer will disappear.




Also, if there is uneven polishing, there are places where it is cloudy and places where it is not, and it is necessary to start over from Dozuri.

If the smoothness is properly prepared before the Dozuri, it will not take much time to polish.

At the end, if you try to do something just by polishing, it will not work if you shift too much. (From my failure story)

艶、光沢の根本的条件 Fundamental conditions of luster and luster


The condition for successful polishing above is how smooth the sharpened surface is.



If the sharpened surface is not uneven, light reflection and refraction are unlikely to occur, so the gloss will increase without becoming white and cloudy. Even if the polishing process is performed without smoothness, the gloss will not increase well.

In the case of Fuki-urushi, it is said that the luster will increase if the ground material is smooth to a sharpening count of # 600 and the number of times of pickpocketing lacquer is 30 or more.



Also, I often polish it to see the condition of the scratches, but this also depends on the depth of the scratches, and how far the sharpening returns depends on each time.

I was struggling because I couldn’t get the gloss I wanted.



It may be easier to get an answer if you finish a certain number of things of the same shape.

However, if you do works and patterns of various shapes, it will change only a little, and the tips and strength will change accordingly.



Even now, I still think about what to do for each work, such as the condition of the Suri-urushi and the strength of polishing, and make trial and error.

The process of Suri-urushi is a world of lacquer that is very deep, so it takes a lot of patience.



Therefore, we will not give up and just move forward aiming for the luster that lies ahead.

I’m doing it every day by telling myself …

漆の自己再生機能 Lacquer self-renewal function


After a while, the surface of the lacquer coating film oxidizes and becomes whitish and cloudy. (Depends on the storage status)

固化した漆塗膜は。。。What is the solidified lacquer coating? .. ..

ウルシオール Urushiol糖タンパク質 Glycoprotein多糖類 Polysaccharide

上記三つの強い結びつきがあります。There are three strong ties above.




It is said that the inside is also lined up in a tightly packed row of fine particles of tissue, which is a layer.

In other words, if the fine particles in this top layer are damaged and refraction / reflection of light occurs and it becomes cloudy, if that layer is removed, the next healthy layer of fine particles will appear on the surface and become glossy.



If the cloudiness is restored by polishing it with your hands or Luo powder, it means that the top layer of fine particles has been successfully removed. The mechanism of this layer can be called the self-regeneration function.

In addition, it can be said that lacquer ware, fountain pens, and other hand-touched lacquer ware are in good condition because they are polished by human hands.


If it is a scratch in fine particles, it will be restored. If you have sunburn or scratches that are larger than fine particles, you may be able to restore the luster if you can coat the scratches with Suriurushi several times and then polish them to make them smooth. (Depending on the surface condition)



Lacquer Urushi, which has the properties of a self-regenerating paint, can be said to be a sustainable paint.

Lacquer products can be used for generations as long as they are handled properly. It is environmentally friendly and has very nice properties.

参考文献 References

  • 小松大秀/加藤寛『漆芸品の鑑賞基礎知識』.1997.至文堂
  • 室瀬和美 田端雅進 阿部芳郎 宮腰哲雄 他『地域資源を活かす 生活工芸双書 漆1漆掻きと漆工 ウルシ利用』.2018,農文協
  • 熊野谿從『21世紀を支える夢の物質 漆のお話』.文芸社,2012
  • 柴田克哉『炎芸術 工芸入門講座 漆の技法』.阿部出版,2013


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