Techniques like Shibori and Sashiko stem from the Japanese Edo period (1603-1868). It was a sustainable and self-sufficient society, based on the principles of complete utilization of finite resources. This project stems from my fascination with Japanese culture and crafts. The project covers the process of dying with natural indigo, different Shibori dying techniques, dying & weaving with Kasuri yarn and creating patterns by applying Sashiko stitching. By experimenting with different folding & clamping (Itajime) and stitching (Nui) shibori methods I made several patterns. I made a dye bath of natural indigo, fructose, calcium hydroxide and water. The dye bath is completely biodegradable and reusable. It can also be stored and preserved for years.
Sashiko (literally “little stabs”) is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching or functional embroidery. The white cotton stitches the size of rice grains on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives Sashiko its distinctive appearance. The hemp leaf pattern (Asa no Ha) was known for its rapid growth and strength. It was believed to bring good fortune to the wearer.
Shibori is a generic term for myriad Japanese pattern and dyeing methods using clamping, folding, stitching and binding. These methods prevent parts of the fabric from colouring blue, which creates patterns that are hard to replicate. Tight tied fabrics result in strong and clean lines and loose tied fabric in fluid lines.
Kasuri (ikat technique) is fabric that has been woven with fibres dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the fabric. The nature of ikat is that the design looks blurred, hence the name kasuri, which derives from the verb kasuru (to write something in a blurry or scratchy manner). Kasuri can be ikat of both the weft and the warp. The threads can be a solid colour or resist-dyed, and the weft thread is resist-dyed in a specific pattern dyed with indigo to form a pattern when the cloth is woven.