This season I decided to test myself with the ancient Japanese fabric dyeing technique called Shibori. The word Shibori refers to a variety of ways of creating a print by shaping cloth and securing it before dying, rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface. Shibori gives cloth a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting or whatever. Basically the aim is to make the bound parts ‘resist’ the dye, so you’re left with white patterns after the fabric is dyed. The word Shibori actually comes from the verb ‘shibori’ which loosely translated means to press, wring, or squeeze.
There is also an Indian art called 'Bandhani' (also known as bandhej or tie-dying) which is the traditional, Indian, resist-dyeing technique, which basically mirrors a lot of the common process better known as Shibori.
Bandhani was mentioned in 6th-century Indian literature, and there are pictures of ladies wearing bandhani fabric that may be seen in 5th-century murals. The most familiar method, which produces small or large dots, involves plucking and tying sections of fabric.
The tied fabric is then dyed, and the result is a spotted design. The real art form comes in adding multiple dye baths and different sized dots or shapes that form contrasting shapes and images.
Whilst I would completely LOVE to be able to travel to Japan to work and select my Shibori, I am at this time still stuck in India so most happy to work with my team here on their amazing designs. And although Shibori to me is a sort of a style that shouldn't be taken too seriously, it's something that no matter your level of expertise, the end result will look great and unique to you. And this is the reason in recent years there has been a resurgence of this art, as people re-discover the virtue of DIY and focus more on learning creative techniques than ever - a way to be more grounded in an increasingly digital world where we sometimes feel like we tend to lose touch with who we are, our traditions.
In creating this line I worked hand in hand with the master dyer, as I wanted to bring you a quality product that was unique to what shapes and forms I like. We discussed various color iterations before I asked him to print it in sections to provide the most similar and matching aesthetic to what I wanted.
After the approvals, the dyers got to work. It's a completely hand made process, from the nature of the dye, which is Indigo (Blue) and wood chips (Khaki) no two pieces of cloth are truly the same, and each piece is unique with slightly different colors and patterns.
Each piece is handmade, from pure natural dye. The dye is created in small batches, so sometimes the tone will also differ from one piece to another.
Next comes the tying/twisting of the fabric, as it's done by human hands, we can only use about 4-5 meters at a time. Each dress is cut from one piece of 4-5 meter fabric, ensuring that no two pieces are identical, each with slightly different colors and styles, making each piece truly special.
I do hope you enjoy wearing them, as much as I enjoy making them. Made with love...always.