Thursday, 22 August 2013

First Try Shibori Techniques Don't Always Work Perfectly

Julie was excited that her two-centimeter and one-centimeter interval pleated shibori projects turned out so beautifully that she wanted to try a 5 millimeter version. I agreed and she spent several days stitching and pleating and meticulously binding the cloth. She had brought a gorgeous large antique linen sheet from France. We ripped it into eight sections and decided to do eight different pleating techniques. Afterwards she will sew it back together for a bed cover.

When it came time to open the indigo dyed piece we were relieved to see that it looked amazing. But after washing, it lost the nuances and ended up looking rather plain. One problem was that the cloth did not allow the indigo to bleed in from behind. There were no light blue ghost like lines between the strong lines. The weave and thickness of the thread were just tight and thick enough to prevent the indigo coming through. The overall binding was tight enough to not allow enough oxygen into the folds to bind the indigo that did seep through.   The folds were bound tight enough so that the indigo was not able to be oxidized and therefore bind to the cloth. The nuances washed out as their 'indigo feet' were not firmly dug into the cloth. Grrrrrrr.
Julie was not deterred for a second.  She re-dyed a second pattern on top. It turned out good. Shibori misses can be salvaged.

Julie is a butoh dancer. She can see the essence of indigo and cloth.  Period. It is wonderful to have her here studying. I can understand and appreciate her approach to work. She is making such deep and beautiful and meaningful pieces from the very start.  The techniques are important. But the 'Dylan' is more important. The Hijikata and Ono mentalities are necessary to get beneath the surface of the the green and go up for a breath of blue. Thank you Julie for being here. I learn from the students. The designers and the artists. It is so interesting to watch the different approaches to indigo and weaving. It takes time for each individual to get traction and propel themselves foreword. I have to stand back and watch for a while before I can be useful. The days are hot and peaceful and productive. 

Anneke left yesterday. We all miss you. The Geiger is sulking. Hugs to you. It is lonely without you here. Five months will fly and we can meet again. No lotus, but maybe some snow.
b   xxoo


  1. amazing! and thanks for the links. hikata-san is out of this world.

  2. i love what my students teach me, too. it's an amazing exchange i think.