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Shibori 'Itajame' block scarf

Photo: One of my 1st Shibori pieces using 'Itajame' method (blocks) 

Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru, "to wring, squeeze, press."

Although shibori is used to design a particular group of resist-dyed textiles, the verb root of the word emphasises the action performed on cloth, the process of manipulating fabric.

Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with Shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting.

Cloth shaped by these methods is secured in a number of ways, such as binding and knotting. It is the pliancy of a textile and its potential for creating a multitude of shape-resisted designs that the Japanese concept of Shibori recognises and explores.

The Shibori family of techniques includes numerous resist processes practiced throughout the world.


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