World Shibori Network

Celebrating the visual languages of PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENT through the global practice of resist-dye traditions and innovations, keeping in mind authenticity, reciprocity, and networking.

Dyeing Naturally and Cultural Exchange in China


Long time WSN member and woven shibori & natural dye expert Catherine Ellis writes about her recent workshop experience and research at Jin Ze Art Centre, Shanghai with Slow Fiber Studios.

Natural Dye: Experiments and Results

I just returned from several weeks in China, where I did an artist residency at the Jinze Art Center near Shanghai. The residency was  focused on weaving and the study of Chinese local “tubu” cloth from the 1950’s and 60’s.

tubu Cotton tubu fabrics

I also participated in a natural dye workshop with Japanese dye master, Dr. Kazuki  Yamazaki. Dr. Yamasaki is a 3rd generation natural dyer and his family has specialized in the traditional dye processes, which they have meticulously researched from the Japanese Heian Dynasty (about a thousand years ago). He is a well-respected practitioner, author and teacher.

tomoko silks Dr. Tomoko Torimaru with silks dyed by Dr. Yamazaki

Each day we explored a different red dye on silk yarns and fabrics: Sappanwood (Caesalpinia sappan), Madder (Rubia Cordifolia), Lac (Laccifer lacca), Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), and Purple Root/Gromwell (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum). These are all special colors that would have been used by…

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This entry was posted on 16 January 2016 by .
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