Uetsu Shinafu is a textile produced in the area of Sekikawa, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, and Sanpoku, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture. The threads are made from the Jinpi (bast fiber) of Shinanoki (linden), Oba Bodaiju (Tilia maximowicziana Shiras) and Nojiri Bodaiju (Tilia noziricola Hisauti), which grow naturally on the Japan Sea side of the Tohoku region since ancient times. The Shinafu is the textile that is woven using the threads from these trees. It is said that Uetsu Shinafu is the oldest woven textile that uses the threads made from the tree bark. In the old days, the woven textile was used for sacks to hold vegetables and grains, as filtering cloth, and for work clothes. Today, the textile is used for making various products for modern life, including bags, wallets, clothing accessories and tapestries.
For more detailed information including a description, history, and the general production process, please see the Kogei Japan: Traditional Crafts of Japan website.