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Two Full Bolts of Antique Arimatsu Shibori

Written on March 1, 2010

Shown today are two full tan or bolts of indigo dyed cotton shibori from Arimatsu, Japan, Arimatsu being one of  Japan’s great shibori producing centers.

ShibGroup1Within the cities of Arimatsu and Narumi, countless families were engaged in all aspects of shibori making and finishing, and within this hotbed of shape resist dyeing, amazing technical innovations flourished during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.ShibGroup1aPictured on the left in the photo above is a bolt of indigo dyed cotton showing the shirokage or white shadow technique, the pattern being that of the tortoise shell or kikko.ShibGroup1bThe bolt on the right, above, seems to be  a vertical, fine wood grain (tate komokume) type of arashi or pole-wrapped shibori. A similar example is shown in Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shape Resist Dyeing on page 176, figure 245.ShibGroup1c

ShibGroup1dThe cotton is both hand spun and hand woven, and is gorgeous to the touch.

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  1. Comment by Paula:

    lovely images and contrast of pattern. someday the Web will allow us to touch the fabric too. ^^

    as you well know, the tortoise is such a constant design motif in East Asian design. Here’s a wall at Changdeokgung (gung=Palace), one of the five ancient palaces in Seoul.


    March 1, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  2. Comment by jacky:

    This is stunning…I love those hexagon shapes and the cotton looks so soft. Would be lovely to touch.

    March 3, 2010 @ 5:14 am