Shibori forever

I’ve always been a big fan of tie-dye like techniques and spent some time in my twenties playing with Batik processes. The randomness of these process can create such beauty and never more so than in the art of Japanese Shibori technique, which is a huge trend this summer.


image via Poppytalk on Etsy blog

From Honestly WTF …  “Shibori is a Japanese term for methods of dyeing cloth by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, and compressing.  In Japan, the earliest known example of cloth dyed with the shibori technique dates back to the 8th century where indigo was the main dye used.”

image via Honestly WTF  shows Shibori master Motohiko Katano

These processes and resulting indigo fabrics have been the inspiration for my most recent ISLINGTON colourway, L’heure Bleue – or ‘the blue hour’, a painter’s name for twilight as the fading light creates a crisp blueness to images. A tricky colour to photograph this one actually has to be taken in sunlight to properly show the depth of navy and deep indigo blues!

Kettle_Yarn_Co_ISLINGTON_LheureBleueD copy

Kettle Yarn Co. ISLINGTON – 55% SW British Bluefaced Leicester / 45% Silk

At its most accomplished the process of Shibori is anything BUT random. The craftspeople who made these fabrics developed the most exacting processes to get extremely complicated patterns. If you are interested in seeing how they intricately fold the fabrics, watch this lovely old video on the labour intensive traditional process. It is a bit slow by today’s standards, but fascinating.