Indigo dyed fabrics always have that charm and charisma. One of the oldest, the most traditional, and the popular dying technique is Shibori or Nui Shibori. There are many popular techniques followed. Before we look into Nui Shibori techniques, let’s a brief outlook on how it emerged.
Shibori emerged from Japan. Shibori Dyeing Techniques were a fad during the EDO period in Japan. It is the earliest cloth dyeing method, dates back to the 8th century. It was the period where lower class people were not allowed to wear silk clothes.
While shibori technique was prevalent, until 20th century no other dyes and fabrics were popular in Japan. Silk and hemp were the main fabrics used by the Japanese. Later, cotton remained the preferred fabric. Similarly, the predominant dye color was indigo, and to the least extent they used purple and madder dyes.
Here is the brief outlook on the six most popular Nui shibori techniques.
This is the Nui Shibori technique, closer to a western technique, which we call as “Tie-dye.”
It involves binding the different sections of the fabric and securing with a thread. It helps achieving the desired pattern without any flaws.
If you wish to do it traditionally, use thread to bind the fabric. However, these days, use of elastic bands instead of threads has become very common. The key to achieve the desired pattern is all about binding. The tighter you bind the cloth you are closer to the desired pattern.
Most people use this technique to get the circular shapes in the fabric.
The second most popular Nui Shibori technique is loop and bind. It is the easiest of all shibori techniques.
A needle and hook is used to pluck the sections of the fabric. A thread is used to loop around the sections, two times. The key to master this technique and get the desired pattern is holding the threading in the right place.
This technique needs an object as a resist. The fabric is wrapped around the objects and held in the right place with thread. It is similar to embroidering a cloth. With this technique, you can get the specific design with ease. It gives you easy control.
This Nui shibori technique is also referred as Pole Wrapping Shibori. It involves three steps – twist, wrap, and bind. The fabric is twisted, wrapped, and bound around the poles, made of copper or wooden. Initially, the fabric is twisted, diagonally wrapped, and finally bound.
Bind the cloth tightly by wrapping it up and down the pole. It gives a pleated cloth with a diagonal design. The major step of this technique is getting the diagonal pattern proper. The perfect wrap gives the recognizable pattern you desire.
Arashi is the Japanese term, which translates to ‘Storm.’ It always has diagonal patterns, which is an indication of the heavy storm.
It’s called a sandwich technique. This technique is a shape-resistant method. It has two steps – fold and sandwich. Fold the fabric, and place it between two pieces of the wood like a sandwich. You can fold the fabric in different dimensions and tensions. It gives different effects.
Wood is the common and traditional tool to achieve the maximum desired pattern using this technique. Contemporary interpretations of this technique involve using plastic pieces or clamps to sandwich the fabric. Some modern artists also use different shapes carved from the plexi glasses or acrylic. The shapes are stay put using the C-clamps.
The best thing about this Nui Shibori technique is, it prevents dye penetration from the fabric.
It is actually a stitching technique involves dual steps. Stitch the cloth and pull the threads tighter, which gather the fabric creating the desired pattern.
To pull the thread, many artisans use wooden dowels. Pulling tight is the key element of this technique. It secures the design and the dye.
It gives a variety of patterns and the most accurate design.
This is the most difficult and labor intensive Nui Shibori technique. The method involves sewing different parallel lines, with the single layer of the cloth. Each parallel row of stitching should be done closely to get the best pattern. All shibori enthusiasts will try this elaborated and intensive design at least once.
Using different techniques
Dying techniques are plenty. You can stitch, twist, compress, fold, or bind the fabric for shibori dying. Each method gives different patterns and designs. So, each technique helps achieving unique results. However, the type of cloth used counts a lot on getting the specific result as desired. The cloth and technique should work in harmony. So, the shibori techniques alone are not enough to get the desired patterned, but also the nature of the cloth dyed counts. For elaborate results, you can use multiple techniques in conjunction.