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Shibori Time

Written on February 26, 2012

We really haven’t had winter here in New York.  It’s been warm and mild since November which is really, really strange.  And February is a month which can bring big storms, but nothing.  Yet.

It feels like spring here today, which is probably why I’m in the mood to show some light hearted shibori.  I’m as confused as the nesting birds and the budding trees (yes, budding.  In February).With its contrasting white-on-blue or blue-on-white patterns, shibori cloth often seems to shimmer or give light.  With this strange spring mood, I was inspired to hang a lot of it in the showroom, and here’s a group of five pieces that I think look good together.Some of you can recognize that the piece on the top, left, or bottom, center, is an itajime dyed diaper.  What’s interesting about this piece is that the six pointed sekka or snowflowers are configured into hexagon shapes which is kikko or the tortoiseshell patter, which, of course, means long life.

The two pieces, above, are beautiful and complex, and the cotton is of heavily hand spun and hand loomed cotton.  Unlike the cotton diapers shown here (there are two: if you look at the topmost image on this post, one is on the far left, the other is second from right) these pieces are on the pricey side.  I’ll be showing the cotton diapers on the webshop soon.  I have a small collection of them.On the image, above, you’ll see circular forms.  This is a broken shippo tsunagi or interlocking circle pattern.  The lightly dyed segments of the circles are the result of a piece of paper being stitched into the cloth before dyeing.  Somehow it helps soften the absorption of the indigo dye and creates a light tone as we can see here.The two diapers shown here probably date to the early-to-mid twentieth century and the other three lengths are probably date from around 1900 to 1930s or so.

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2 Comments

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  1. Comment by onesmallstitch:

    beautiful, the range of indigo is lovely together. I’ve never heard of paper used as a resist, very interesting.

    February 26, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  2. Comment by paula253:

    happy shiboring!

    i keep coming back to the group of 5 and how you’ve arranged them: variety and similarity.

    can’t wait to see more of the diaper collection. japanese babies sure were lucky!

    February 27, 2012 @ 8:45 pm