Thursday, December 13, 2007

ITAJIME: Elaine Blythe

Fabrics dyed in indigo by Elaine Blythe. These fabrics were first dyed and printed with various textile techniques, then over dyed with indigo. The indigo dye united the design and unifies the original colors .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


These kimono have linings made with itajime decorated fabrics.

Girl's red kimono decorated with itajime flowers.

This itajime design called sekka has a radiating
leaf pattern similar to a Japanese maple or an asa
(hemp) leaf.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Itajime, Kyokechi or clamped resist dyed fabric from the Shōsōin treasure house, Nara Period (710-794). Shōsōin (正倉院) is the treasure house that belongs to Tōdai-ji, Nara, Japan.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


A stack of carved blocks made with mirror imaging is used to resist the dye. The fabric is laid between the blocks, then the blocks are tightly compressed to keep out the dye. The dye flows between the channels and in the holes making complex patterns.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Itajime, jammed dyeing, clamp resist dyeing, or woodblock dyeing is a mechanical resist that consists of two carefully carved, mirror imaged pieces of wood that are clamped on either side of pleated or folded fabric. Itajime is also called kyokechi. Ita means wood board, and jime means sandwich and tighten. This technique blocks the dye from reaching the cloth resulting in complex patterns.

It is a dyeing technique similar to that used in the Nara period to make kyokechi resist dyed textiles. This
involves clamping yarns or lengths of fabric between wooden boards, usually used in groups of 10-20, that have been carved with decorative designs. Holes and channels are made in the wood that allow the dye to penetrate the yarn or fabric.

17th C. Silk, Itajime, provenance uncertain, from Persia or India.

It is
said that the sister of Liu Jieshu in the reign of Emperor Xuanzong in the Tang dynasty, 712-756AD, invented the method, which was very popular in the Tang and Song dynasties and was used for tanka covers in the Ming and Qing dynasties.

There are several good examples of kyokechi in the Shōsōin treasure house
, Nara, Japan

Itajime block from Japan

Patterned wooden block from Japan. The pattern is made to replicate kanoko shibori.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

LUI DA PAO: Shibori With Running and Overcast Stitches

絞纈 "jiao-xie" is the ancient name of Chinese tie dye. Today it is also known as "zha ran". The most popular name is in Japanese, "shibori" 絞り染め.

The dancers are sewn with
running stitches that are
pulled tightly.

The rams and figures are made
with running stitches and the butterfly fold.

The monkeys are sewn with running stitches.

This shibori textile is based on Picasso's painting "Guernica". Both the running stitch and the butterfly fold are used.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

LUI DA PAO: Shibori- Stitching Chinese Butterfly

LUI DA PAO is an indigo dyer from Fenghuang, in West Hunan Provence, China. He specializes in the various forms of tie dye, stencil printing, and batik. In this video he demonstrates the shibori technique of the Chinese butterfly.

Have patience with the video it takes a minute to load.  Thanks

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Drawing with sgraffito into the rice paste creates a fluid line when dyed has many variations of blue. Painting the fabric with dye beforehand can create even more color changes.

Alisa Fritz, figure drawing
using sgraffito on
partially dyed fabric
using Sabracron F fiber
reactive dyes before
dyeing in indigo.