Our studio was again turned into a laboratory to experiment and in pursuit of it’s own unique style of hand dying. To be more precise, we were inspired by an ancient Japanese dyeing technique, known as Shibori, to create unique pieces for our collection. After trying this technique, we wanted to share with you how we used it!
Before getting into more details, we wanted to introduce you to this technique. Shibori comes from Japan and shiboru means "wring" or "squeeze" in Japanese. Japanese use this “tie-dye” technique since the eighth century.
There are 6 traditional techniques in the art of Shibori. We choose for our project to use the technique of Itajime Shibori and Kanoko Shibori.
Itajime Shibori is the dying process of using wood or in our case plexi glass to create negative space in the dye. By using the pressure of the wood or plexi glass one achives that the dye is only visible in the outer edge of the folds.
This technique is the most similar one to our western style tye dying. By gathering fabric in circular or geometric forms and tying threads around the gathered fabric one creates patterns in the fabric. The dye moves everywhere except to where the binding is very tight. Folding can also be incorporated to this technique. We used it on the pants for example.
What we really like with this ancient Japanese technique is that we were able to create for each piece a unique dying design! Without further redo, let’s get into the technique!
First we used indigo pigment that we mixed with hot water to prepare our dying vat. We then added a base (hydroxide) and a reducing agent (fruit sugar) to absorb oxygen.
We then prepared our wrap dress in Itajime Shibori technique using shapes when folding to resist the binding. This is also called sandwiching the fabric by using shapes. We wanted to place the print on the outer edge of the dress. Using a cotton thread we secure our evenly placed folds.
For the first time one third of the collection was first sewn in white not dyed fabric to then be hand-dyed with ancient techniques.
After these steps, we put into the vat our dress. A few times later, the color turns from yellow to green to a final blue shade.
Tips: Make sure to stir the vat constantly and check the dying process.
We then removed the dress from the vat and started to dry it.
We removed the binds and unfolded the dress. Now let’s see how it turned out…
Each pieces is individually hand tied and dyed with the shibori technique in Berlin. We placed the print on each piece after the garments were stitched up. All pieces are made of cotton and cotton stretch.
These pants are made of cotton that has been laser cut in different shapes of circles then the dying process added to this high tech material the ancient look of Shibori dying.