Textile Spotlight: Shibori

July 21st, 2015

It’s been some time since I spotlighted a specific textile. Blue versions are always on my mind especially ones with random imperfections in their patterns so today’s focus is Japanese Shibori. I’m on a lifelong quest to acquire unique textiles, especially ones with a history to them. Shibori fabrics have been popular in fashion and home design for a while now, and with deep blues remaining a popular hue again this summer, it’s no wonder these dyed indigo textiles are in high demand.

shibori pilows on sofa

shibori.com

The technique dates back centuries, shibori is defined by Shibori.org as follows:

“It comes from the Japanese verb root shiboru, ‘to wring, squeeze, press.’ The closest translation would be ‘shaped-resist dyeing.’ The shaping process reserves areas that are recorded as patterns with characteristically soft edges and crinkled textures when cloth is dyed. Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional flat surface, shibori techniques give it a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting… a cloth may be dyed repeatedly using a different shaping method each time.”

shibori rug indogo dye curtains

  jande jonge via bloesem

There are many different types of shibori techniques, differentiated by the materials and steps used to create a particular pattern. One style we’ve embraced in the US is Kanoko known as tie dye where cloth is bound by threads or bands, other shibori techniques have very specific definitions.

shibori dye technique

Arashi requires pole wrapping, Kumo is pleated and bound, Nui is stitched, the list goes on and the pattern possibilities are endless. Years ago I assumed tie dye came from the 1960s and was something we all did to our T-shirts at summer camp, but that craft does have its roots in Japanese shibori. 

indigo dye bedding

urban outfitters

shibori wallpaper

shibori.com 

Randomness and imperfection occur with this resist dyeing process, beautiful patterns emerge from folding, twisting, and binding cloth then submerging it in indigo dye. Many artisans have taken it to a level of near perfection.

japanese shibori

via

I haven’t tried any shibori techniques yet which is so wrong since it combines two of my favorite things: fabric and deep blue. I need to get together a group of friends and host a party, “Shibori and Chardonnay” – sounds like fun to me!

Here are a few DIY projects to inspire:

shibori diy textiles

diy at honestly wtf

indigo dye tea towels

diy at francois et moi

shibori silk scarf

shibori silk scarf

 shibori napkins

shibori napkins

 

More Textile Spotlights:

kilim

velvet

tartan

Kilim

Velvet

Tartan

Playing with Watercolor

July 20th, 2015

I was feeling extra irritable this weekend, restless too, and for no apparent reason at all. Usually a trip to the gym gets that out of my system but after that I still felt out of sorts, so I turned to another source of distraction: painting. Out came my brushes, paints, and tray, I had some ideas and I wanted to play around with them.

brushes paints and tray

I’m drawn to the beauty of an authentic brushstroke, whether the source is a child, an amateur like me, or a professional. I’ve taken a few art classes in my life but don’t consider myself an artistic painter by any means, I do like to dabble in it for therapeutic reasons, also it’s a sensory thing.

I like swirling around paint and combining colors, it relaxes me. Sometimes my efforts work, sometimes not so much, but whatev. I find the process more important than the result.

plaid brush strokes

 

ferns sample

 

watercolor sploches

“Pinterest Perfect.” It’s a phrase now, one we are keenly aware of, from the bloggers who make their living being creative to the moms just trying to do their best. I know, I’m both. It’s a tired conversation for me “Everything is so perfect on Pinterest” and we hate that yet as DIY bloggers that’s always nagging in the back of our minds. Is my backdrop textured and inventive? Did I style the photo well enough so that visitors Pin it for future reference? Because my income/clout/future opportunities may depend on that. It sounds stupid when you say it out loud, but it’s real.

I do a lot of thinking whenever I’m involved in the creative process. Will this idea work? Will it succeed or fail? Am I doing it for a good reason? Who defines failure or success? Social media or me?

watercolor paints and brushes

    

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