January 29, 2019 / 1:16 AM / in 5 months

Art of Shibori Tie-Dye

The possibility of Shibori, Japanese name for tie-dye, is infinite. The principle is so simple that you can try it at home with yarn, fabric and some dyeing agent.

You only have to tie the fabric tightly enough with a yarn and dip it into the dyebath. Since the dye cannot penetrate the part of the material where it is tied, a pattern appears after the fabric is untied.

However, perhaps because of this simplicity, the technic now has more than one hundred variations and can create any designs one can think of - from simple dots and circles to very elaborate flowing curves, checkers or even 3-D patterns. Now, it is often used by clothing designers in Paris or New York, who explore the possibility of the fabric.

Tie-dyed handkerchief at Suzusan.

The art is showcased in Arimatsu-Narumi Tie-Dyeing Museum, where tools and major technics are explained. The Shibori masters demonstrate their technique of tie-dyeing there regularly, too.

You can try your hand in Shibori there, if you like. The price is JPY 1,000 for a handkerchief. A T-shirt starts from JPY 3,000. You tie the material, they dye and send it to you. A reservation is needed. They also sell Shibori products from JPY 400 handkerchief to JPY 140,000 roll of silk fabric which is enough for two shirts or one Japanese kimono.

Kuno Studio pushes the boundaries of innovation in Shibori technic.

There are some other workshops in the town. Kuno Studio is one of them. Their main business is research and development of Shibori technic to explore the possibility of Shibori and try it on various material. The products range from leather shoes, golf bag to sculpted fabric. At Kuno, you can tie and dye a cotton handkerchief for JPY 2,000.

Suzusan is another good example of modern adaptation of the traditional technic. Here, you can find not only a lamp shade which looks like objet d’art but also a very rare stuff like a tie-dyed cashmere pullover. According to the owner, Mr. Hiroshi Murase, tie-dyeing cashmere wool requires a very high skill because the fabric is so soft and tends to be crumpled after dyebath if enough attention is not paid.

Suzusan explores modern adaptation of the traditional Shibori technic and creates new products like tie-dyed cashmere pullover.

 For more information visit Aichi Now

More from this series

Samurai Days On Tokaido RoadRe-experience ancient highways in Aichi prefecture.
Honzaka Pass: Treading the Old Mountain Way“That’s a varied chickadee. A red-flanked bluetail may be there, too.”
Goyu and Akasaka: Afterglow of Tokaido Located about halfway between Edo and Kyoto, Goyu/Akasaka, was a twin post-town on Tokaido Road.
Okazaki: A Castle, Miso and a FindWhile the city of Okazaki ranks 39th in the size of population among Japanese cities, it boasts Okazaki Castle which was the 4th largest castle in Japan.
Arimatsu: A Living Post-TownArimatsu is one of the few post-towns on Tokaido Road, where you can still see neat lines of merchant houses from Edo period.

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