Three examples of indigo shibori

Due to circumstances that likely could have been avoided, I will be writing part 2 of the sashiko tutorial tomorrow instead of today. In the meantime, here are some great examples of shibori done in indigo and white.

These three show just how diverse a medium shibori can be. The piece on the left is a vintage textile, possibly intended to be used as a baby’s diaper/nappy. We should all have such  fashionable bums.

The cotton is extremely soft and very likely absorbent, but I haven’t tested this theory out. This style of shibori is kumo, or spider web. The fabric is folded and pinched into tall peaks then wrapped with thread tight enough to fully block much of the fabric from the dye. The area where the binding ties were wound is quite visible, giving each bound area its spider web appearance.

This next piece is new, from a lightweight, crisp cotton bolt dyed in a very dark indigo. The design is a repeating tortoise shell, or kikko, symbolic of longevity.

The shibori technique is square ring dots, or yokobiki kanoko. The design is stenciled onto the fabric before tying, then bound quickly with very little thread on each binding (more thread=larger resisted area, less thread=smaller resisted area). This cotton, although quite dark, is quite thin and gauzy when held up to the light. One might imagine wearing a yukata made from this in a hot, humid summer and finding it quite breezy, but still modest.

This last piece is a delicate little gem I received from Andrew Galli of Studio Galli, the producer of Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s Shibori DVD available in my shop.

This technique is a somewhat random form of a usually staid looped binding called miura shibori. Miura is often seen done in rows, but this one is quite different. The result is a highly textured, vivacious and chaotic splash effect, the sort you’d find done by an artist who is well acquainted with the rules and chooses to ignore them. Note how the peaks were bound toward the bottom, but not at the top. This give a stark contrast with dark indigo in the foreground and crisp white in the background, the opposite effect seen in the first piece of the three. The fabric has not been steamed, so the peaks remain as they were the moment the binding threads were removed. Beautiful.

Back to sashiko tomorrow.

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