Urushi is the extract of the urushi tree (Rhus vernacifera). It has strong adhesion properties. When it hardens, it becomes extremely durable and creates a glossy surface. It is used as a polishing material. For centuries, it has been an important paint for the art field of Asian countries such as China, Korea and Vietnam, especially Japan. The 'Art of Patience' analogy has been used very appropriately for Urushi, especially considering the technique and the curing time that takes days. .It has been used in Japan for more than nine thousand years. Urushi is very resistant to both acids and alkalis when cured and is durable enough to last for several thousand years.
Urushi differs from other coating materials in the way it is dried. It contains a substance called urushiol, which reacts with oxygen and hardens through the oxidative polymerization process with the help of an enzyme. For this process to take place, both a suitable temperature and humidity level are required. The drying (curing) process is repeated at every stage of the parts and progresses gradually for a long time. This period can be at least 1 month and up to 8 months, depending on the techniques used.
Urushi can be practiced with many techniques such as makie, kintsuki, fuki, Ishime-nuri, Nanako-nuri, Kawari-nuri.
The most important storage warning for urushi is that it should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Urushi deteriorates by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, it should not be placed in areas that receive direct sunlight for a long time.