Since the long-ago Heian period, Nishijin has, under the protection of the ruling class, been at the center of the culture of dyeing and weaving that spares no investment of time, effort, or money. Among the many varieties of Nishijin-ori wovens, Kara-ori is known as the most sumptuous and most intricately worked. Weaving the designs involves using shuttles carrying colorful weft thread, including thread of silver and gold. Against a ground of more muted color, patterns emerge that seem as though they must have been executed in embroidery. Kara-ori is a gorgeous fabric that is also used for Noh costumes.