Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Pleated Shibori

I found that the stitching/pleating and binding techniques work as a good introduction to shibori. There are dozens of these pleated Japanese shape-resist techniques and many more variations on each of them.

There is a razors edge you have to balance on when you walk down the old shibori path. It is easy to lose your footing and fall down and get tangled in the hippie growing on the downside. You can trip and skin both knees with the quickies and getting temporarily blinded by tradition for tradition sake. Depression can set in and you lose your way with dogmatic adherence to dorky motifs. And god forbid you get messed up with rubber bands and pre-stitched shibori kits.

If you are a designer and want to incorporate some shibori into clothing or interior design products this family of techniques has advantages. You can get relatively consistent results. It is beautiful. It walks down the razor's path safely.

The measuring and pleating are done in order to make the accordion shape. It can be done at intervals of five millimetres  to five centimetres. Once the accordion is made it can be bound to itself or a flexible cord or restitched with endless possibilities of pattern. Tension can be played with to create many patterns behind patterns.

I measured out one centimetre and then two centimetre intervals and had Ogata san stitch this one up.  It had to be spray dampened while organising the pleats to keep them in place. We are binding all these pleated types on three ply (we ply it) rice straw ropes we get from the local hardware shop. This one was dyed ten times in the indigo, taken off the straw rope and bound with the opposite side up and dipped another ten times. Remember to wrap the straw rope with kitchen wrap or the straw will stain the cloth an unpleasant yellow.

5 centimetre interval and a pattern stitched in. Luisa...perfect.

Both sides of the pleated cloth were bound with straw rope.

Luisa's beautiful pleated piece.

One more look at Henri's piece:

And Mini's clean masterpiece that is often around my neck:

A lot of pleating going on around the house these days. There are a few about to be dyed in the next few days. I'll keep you posted.