In my series of posts explaining the varied methods of Japanese shibori I hope you are beginning to understand how vast the possibilities are for dying fabric. And perhaps you will understand why I bristle when someone says “oh, that is just tie dye”. The art form requires education, practice, knowledge of how dye absorbs, interacts and sets. Learning each of types of shibori and refining the process to a skilled art can take a lifetime.
Miura Shibori is an exercise in patience, requiring sometimes as many as several thousand small tufts of fabric gathered and bound. Each tuft is gathered, and traditionally loose bound cotton twine is wrapped tightly around the tuft. Where the binding is tight the dye will not affect. In this photo you see the binding process:
Small tufts of fabric would be gathered, and bound. This process would systematically cover the entire surface of the fabric. Once the binding is done dye would be added. Dye will cover any portion of the fabric not bound. The surface under the binding would remain white, with the pressure of the binding preventing the dye to run into these spaces.
Miura by nature is repetitious, and very tight small bindings, giving a very interesting resulting pattern. Here are a few examples of Miura shibori:
Traditional kimono silk was often dyed in this manner, giving delicate, tight patterns for the bodice, and sleeves of garments.
On a personal note, i have a piece of silk that i have been working on off and on for the last 6 months, and i am up to 600 bindings so far, with half of the surface done. I work on it only when i have the patience to do so… and when it is fully bound i am going to be so very careful with the dying process because of the time invested. If i ever get this done i will certainly take photos and post a report about it.
I admire this method, and the interesting patterns formed… but it is a skill that does take strong fingers, and a patience with the process.