5 - 2 Shibori-zome

Sample 1

In this method, thread acts as the 'resist'. 'Shibori' is the noun form of the Japanese verb 'Shiboru' meaning 'squeeze', so a variety of patterns can be made by squeezing the cloth with thread. The next photo on the left shows one of the simplest forms of shibori-zome.

Balls of wool are sewn tightly
to both ends of the chain pattern.


After the thread resist is in place, that section of the cloth is wrapped with plastic and sealed tightly. This is a modified method of shibori-zome; after a first dipping in the vat, the plastic will be removed and the cloth dipped again.

This gives the 'two-tone' effect visible in the product sample picture above ... In the picture on the left you can see a couple of shiny patches on the surface of the dye; these are the areas covered with plastic.

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The dye vats are so deep that it would be very difficult to retrieve any cloth that happened to fall to the bottom. These baskets are placed in the vat to ensure that dyers can work with several pieces of cloth at a time without worrying about them disappearing in the depths!


Sample 2

The cloth is nipped and tied with thread over its entire surface, it seems like a million times. It is impossible to find a flat surface anywhere on the cloth! This work is done by a specialist and the fabric is then forwarded to Kosoen for dyeing. The image on the right is a close-up of one part of this cloth.



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Although the dyed cloth hanging outside is far from beautiful (left photo),
the photo on the right (taken after the threads have been removed, but before the cloth is stretched)
shows the beautiful three dimensional pattern that appears.
The tangled threads can be removed only by a very experienced professional.

1. Ito-zome 2. Shibori-zome 3. Ita-jime
4. Kata-zome 5. Tsutsu-gaki

'The dyeing process' top page