Two weeks ago, friends of ours took us to see the historic town of Arimatsu.It still has a lot of Edo period buildings.
Located on the Tokaido (ancient road from Tokyo to Kyoto), Arimatsu is famous for ‘shibori’ or tie-dyed cloth. The cloth is tied up with rope before dying, thus preventing certain parts of the cloth from being dyed. It’s not just fuzzy circular patterns, it really leads to intricate patterns.
It turns out we could have a go at shibori ourselves. Our friends had arranged for a workshop in the local museum. Upon arrival, we were immediately given a piece of cloth and a needle and were put to work. Two ladies of a respectable age with at least 50 years of shibori experience each, taught these clumsy gaijin how to make a simple shibori cloth. Unfortunately we could not see the dying process but they will send us the finished cloth once it has been dyed.
Of course when these ladies have a go at it themselves, it’s a whole other story.
Hiroshige made an ukiyoe (woodblock print) about Arimatsu in the series ‘The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido’, in which ‘shibori’ is pictured. You can see shops selling the cloth and someone sitting inside the shop tying some cloth in preparation for dying, or perhaps untying the knots after dying.
Wow, this sounds amazing! I’d love to take a workshop like that, maybe I’ll keep my eye out for something. Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad you liked the post. The workshop was a lot of fun and while our project was very basic, those Japanese ladies can make amazing things with this technique. It is also interesting to learn how the dye is prepared in a traditional way, using plant extracts.
I was wondering if I can use your photo “building in Arimatsu” for my wallpaper. I’ll be making vector image out of it.
Yes no problem. Feel free to use the photograph. Could you send me the wallpaper once it’s finished? It would be very interesting to see the result. And I would be much obliged if you could post a link to my blog on your page. Thx!
I love anime too by the way. Did you read my post about the World Cosplay Summit? I even met Inuyasha there!
Thanks a lot! You saved me! 🙂
I’ll be sure to prepare the link to your blog once I finished the wallpaper! 😀
Oh, and another question, can I use any of your images as long as I give credit??
Or I should ask each time? XD
Ok, you can use my images for your wallpapers. Will let you let me know whenever you finish one? It would be really rewarding to see my pictures in someone else’s artwork 🙂 If you like you can even put a link to the wallpaper in the comment section of the blogpost where you got the image.