Sunday, November 27, 2005

What is this Shibori stuff anyway?

Shibori is an ancient Japanese resist dye method which involves folding, binding, tying, wrapping, clamping, or stitching fabric into a 3-dimensional shape prior to immersion in the dye bath. These techniques result in a beautifully fluid and random pattern which can be repeated several times with different colors for a complex design. For the kind of pieces I do, preparation times are between 15 minutes to 2 hours. The dye times are about an hour or two. Unwrapping and washing, then rewrapping for the next dye bath. Whew! In Japan, a single kimono used to take 6 months to a year to stitch before the fabric ever saw a dye bath.


My favorites are karamatsu (sitched circles)


arashi (wrapped on a pole)


and mokume (stitched into a tube and fed onto a pole, then "scrunched").

Whether worked on silk, or cotton, these patterns are exquisitely organic and delicate.


Currently I am working on a set of silk scarves with pieced panels in coordinating patterns and colors. I then bead the corners to add weight. Each one is a one-of-a-kind work of art.

I will be sending them off to a show in a few days. Hopefully they will sell out for the holidays!

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