A Shibori Journey

Shibori by t r a c y f o x

I have to confess that I am totally in love with everything about Shibori.

Shibori is the universal Japanese word meaning ‘wring, squeeze, press’ and is an ancient method of manipulating cloth before dyeing it to produce all manner of glorious patterns.

Yes I love creating the cloth, playing with ideas and different ways of making patterns and then using it in projects but they are not the only things that fascinate me.

I have also enjoyed discovering more about the history of Shibori in Japan and one of the sources I came across is the World Shibori Network (WSN).  It was founded in 1992 in Nagoya, Japan

“as a grass roots organization dedicated to the preservation of Japanese shibori and similar traditional techniques across the globe.”

I also love the ‘you don’t know what you’re going to get’ aspect which tests my Perfectionist Control Freak Streak!

There is a quote by Master Katano Motohiko on the WSN website which sums this up much better than I could.

The Japanese shibori dyer works in concert with the material, not in effort to overcome its limitations. An element of the unexpected is always present. All the variables attendant upon shaping the cloth serve to remove some human control from the shibori process.

An analogy is that of a potter firing a wood-burning kiln. All the technical conditions have been met, but what happens in the kiln may be a miracle or a disaster. Chance and accident also give life to the shibori process, and this contributes to its special magic and strongest appeal.

It is true the process is time consuming but I believe it is totally worth the results.

I am grateful that the knowledge and skills accumulated by the Japanese artisans over the many many years they practiced the art have been passed from generation to generation creating a rich 400 year history which we benefit from today.

As you know from other posts, I have been making projects using the hand dyed fabric I create to give visitors ideas of how they might use it.

Hand made books are a particular favorite of mine and I was really keen to make sure I captured the story of Japanese Shibori in some way as I discovered it, so (yes you guessed it), I made a book which some of you will have seen displayed on my stand.

The outer cover is made using the arashi technique which is pole wrapped fabric which I then free motion quilted using the pattern as my guide.
2015 Oct 19 A Shibori Journey Book Cover t r a c y f o x
I made the fabric labels by stamping onto scraps of white cotton fabric and then stitching them to the cover.

The fabric on the inside cover was created with a folded clamp resist pattern.  I then stamped on the names of different Shibori techniques.
2015 Oct 19 A Shibori Journey Book Inside Cover t r a c y f o x

The pages are made using various envelopes I received in the mail.  Some of them have blue patterns on them which reminded me of shibori patterns. A paper bag also found its way in there aswell.
2015 Oct 19 A Shibori Journey Book Centre Pages t r a c y f o x

My plan is to add all sorts to the pages including information and photos about the history, scraps of shibori fabric I have created and maybe a couple of ‘shibori inspired’ pieces also using scraps of cotton fabric, oh and anything else that springs to mind.

I’m sure stitching and a glue stick will be involved along the way but I am going to try very hard not to over think this and keep my afore mentioned ‘Perfectionist Control Freak Streak’ in check!

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

* If you like what I do, then others might too – thank you for liking and sharing *

Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…

t r a c y

6 thoughts on “A Shibori Journey

  1. This a really interesting post – thank you, Tracy. The first time I heard about shibori was when I was told that it was a fabric manipulation technique where small objects are tied in to the fabric, which is then heated to “set” the shapes created by the objects.

    Liked by 1 person

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