Monday, 30 July 2012

Kaki Shibu / Persimmon Tannin Dyeing Season Begins

The Monsoon is officially over and the temperature is soaring. The sky is a dark blue. It thunders every afternoon. It is time for dyeing with persimmon tannin. It is impossible to sleep past 5:00 am as the sun hits my room directly. 

It is time to get up and start dyeing to take advantage of the ultra-violet rays. I am dyeing some stencil dye material and silk thread right now.

I dilute the persimmon  juice fifty/fifty and brush it on over the already paste resisted stencil. I'll repeat this procedure for ten full hot days before removing the paste with water. 

Spread the threads out for maximum sunshine contact. (Look at the out of control pumpkins growing out of the compost box. Another summer friend who visits.)

I dilute the persimmon juice one third to two thirds water and put in the pre-wetted thread and gently squeeze. Leave enough juice to actually dye with! For this, it takes time and experience to know how crunchy you want the thread and how dark. You have to turn and flip the thread outside  in and vice versa through out the day for a semi even dye.  After several days it is a good idea to re-skein the thread a different diameter to break the alinement of the protective threads. You don't want a randomly weird ikat appearing as you weave.The crisp sun soaked warn silk thread feels so good on your arms as you bring it in to sleep until the next morning.


  1. onesmallstitch31 July 2012 at 13:31

    you get so much more heat than we do, I'm still waiting for a reliable spell of hot weather. I use powdered kaki, it mixes up lumpy so I put it in a blender and then through a sieve and didn't think of repeating it over several days - thanks.

  2. Another one of those stunning colours we so enjoyed looking at in April

  3. Dear Bryan,
    No munsoon in France, but my persimmon tree is full of golden fruit. Do you use ripe kaki fruit juice?
    By the way I attended a natural colour forum in Lauris last month and met a lady based in Burkina who knows you. One day, I hope to make it to one of your workshops.

  4. Hi Anne,
    Use unripe astringent persimmons. Hello to my dear friend Mariama san in Bukina. Miss her.