Shibori – Part II

Last week i did a post introducing Shibori, the Japanese art of silk dying.  But my post only focused on one type of Shibori and you need to know there are at least a dozen different techniques.

A technique that is a refinement of what i do is called Arimatsu Narumi.  The fabric is stenciled with patterns of dots.  Each dot will require a gathering and knotting.  A garment can take up to a year if done in this style as there are so many knots to be made.  Here is a video that briefly explains the process:

The outcome of this type of work is a steady pattern of rings, or dots of white (or the color of the fabric) against a blue field background.  In japan the fabric is vat dipped, and typically the dye is an indigo (blue).  Like the rest of our world, we are slowly loosing the teachers and practitioners of this fiber art.  The work is particularly amazing, and the skills honed are exceptional.  This is on my bucket list of type of silk dying i wish to try soon.

An example of this work can be found from a website in japan known  as narablog.  Narablog is a compendium of the many different fiber arts of Japan.  There are  so many wonderful techniques and skills to learn, but for a moment i wanted to show you this beautiful work.

It is a Kimono for a child made from vat dying the fabric after carefully applying the knots.  Keep in mind that every place that is white or light  blue is where the fabric was bound.  The tight binding acts as a resist to prevent the material from absorbing the dye.

So the next time someone says “Hmm, ah its just tie dye…”  remember the fine finger skills, the delicate knotting capabilities, the exacting placement of string, and the deep insight into how long to keep the fabric in the dye.  There are complex processes, and lots of learning that goes into each amazing shibori outcome.  It may be the mother of tie dye, but it is far from the 1960s peace and love garments!!!!


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