Shibori Wanderings

Wandering about Izumi Village in Okinawa, Japan has it’s advantages.  Someone always seems to have a Ryukyu Ai (indigo) pot available in this region of Okinawa Island known for its Ryukyu Ai production and dyework.

So, after wandering about and talking to my Izumi family members and other locals, I found a Ryukyu Ai vat available for sharing.  But alas, I did not have my kasuri ikat skeins nor any shibori stitch-resist fabrics ready.

Ordinarily, I enjoy the meditative process of shibori stitch resist.

Shibori Noren

I enjoy the meditative process of stitched shibori…

Nevertheless, on this particular day I decided to wander about and collect various objects along the Izumi hillside trails to use for my resists…natures abundance provided rocks and small twigs for my task, and a few extra marbles were contributed by a friend as well.

Some rocks and marbles for my resist…

I tied these found objects using a variation of the kumo (spider) shibori technique…a resist formed by a simple twist and hand-tie (te gumo) around the found object with a string or rubber band.

A variation of kumo shibori ties on my handwoven scarf…

After adding a small handle to my scarf, it was ready for the Ryukyu Ai vat.

Ready to Dye

My handwoven scarf…ready for the indigo vat…

After slowly dipping the scarf several times…

Ryukyu Ai Vat

A fermented Ryukyu Ai vat…

and a little rinse, my scarf revealed kumo hues…in Ryukyu Ai blues!

Kumo shibori hues in Ryukyu Ai blues!

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