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.









14 comments:

  1. OH... HENRY AND MINI...
    MANY GOOD MEMORYS
    MISS YOU BOTH
    HUGS FROM
    HIRO

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  2. great results. indigo shibori is endlessly fascinating. when i was there i saw those imported prestitched kits. even i was surprised by that one. what is the point?

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  3. Hello Bryan. Thank you for posting this! I've taught myself similar pleated and stitched techniques following the descriptions in Yoshiko Wada's books. It's great to see others' interpretations of these techniques. I'm intrigued though by the 7th photo down. I've achieved something similar by clamping the stitched concertina between two strips of wood - is that what you mean by saying "both sides" were bound with rope? If not I'm confused!!

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    1. Hi Helen,
      The pleated shibori was sandwiched between the ropes on the outside and then bound. If the two ropes are slightly bigger than the pleated piece the binding thread doesn't touch the cloth and you don't get distinct railway tracks. You can purposely make the ropes smaller and get more distinct railway tracks. We do the wood clamping as well. However, it limits the length of cloth that will fit in the indigo vat.

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  4. MacDonalds shibori. I can kind of understand the surprise versions of pre-stitched shibori. There is a moment of surprise at what you get when you open it up. Sort of like Christmas crackers. The prize is left on the table and you go have a glass of wine and digest the turkey in a comfy chair. I am always surprised that tours to indigo workshops often only get to see the master dip a handkerchief in the indigo before being herded into the gift shop. This cannot even be classified as consuming culture.

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  5. Such BEAUTY!
    So inspiring to see this process. And I think this quote has to go up over the dye pot here: "It is easy to lose your footing and fall down and get tangled in the hippie growing on the downside." That's entirely swell ;>]

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    1. Being a long hair at heart myself... there are some quick and easy techniques that turn out well. But too many of them too soon is disheartening. I am thinking of a sign that simply states, 'RESPECT THE INDIGO'. It will be a reminder to myself as well.
      b

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    2. HA! That made me chuckle ... I still have the long hair [grin - some things die hard].

      That's a good sign, too, Bryan!

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  6. Thank you Bryan for showing these shibori pieces. They are absolutely beautiful. I am looking forward to doing something like this with you next year, and getting more and more excited every time I read your blog. Jean Haese

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    1. Looking forward to having a group of Aussies here. Hard working and frontier spirited. b

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  7. the whole hippie paragraph is priceless. thinking about embroidering a sample with those words and hanging it on one of my studio walls.

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  8. the hippie thing. too funny. but the usefulness of the accordion resounds in the book and paper world, too. funny, how things transcend genre. and i love the photos of your students holding their work.

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  9. Lovely to see students hold their work. There are not enough places in the world for people to be comfortable and creative. I've had a few people come and stay and bloom while working on deeply personal work. Their smiles and gentleness, insecurities and confidence and that Bjork-like necessity to get it out, eats away at my jaded heart.

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  10. Hey Bryan, is there any indigo dye workshop this year?

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