Indigo is the ancient and universal blue dye, and its process quite magical. Using it with variations on the traditional ‘shibori’ techniques, has brought me a new understanding of the power of “controlled chance”, as well as great respect for the ‘deceptive simplicity’ of Japanese design.
SHIBORI is the Japanese term (from the word ‘to squeeze or wring’), for the resist technique of binding, clamping or gathering the cloth up tightly so that the dye cannot reach certain parts. This results in that most powerful of combinations - a carefully structured design with the organic freedom of the unpredictable. The indigo dye, (which penetrates the cloth relatively slowly), produces un-dyed areas that ‘glow’ from the characteristic ‘soft-edge’ shibori patterns. And because of the inevitable variables, (in the folding, stitching, nature of that particular ‘vat’, length of immersion etc), no two pieces will be the same.
I run workshops to introduce you to indigo dyeing and shibori, throughout the summer in my studio and garden near Saffron Walden.
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