Conversations with Cloth Series 1 – Fall/Winter 2020

Shibori has become an international textile term because no equivalent has been identified. Other languages have no term that encompasses all the various shaped-resist techniques, nor is there English terminology for all of the individual methods, which often have been incorrectly lumped together as “tie-and-dye.” In the 1970s, three terms to describe some of the shibori methods came into international usage: plangi, used for the process of gathering and binding cloth, may be a Malay-Indonesian derivative from the word pelangi (rainbow); banda, bandhani, or bandhej are Indian terms for the process of plucking or gathering and binding; and tritik, used for stitch-resist, may be a Malay-Indonesian derivative from the word titik (dots). However, these three terms represent only two of the most useful processes, stitch-resist and bound-resist. No other term in the international textile vocabulary but “shibori” encompasses the entire range of shaped-resist dyeing techniques. There has been continuing research on global shibori traditions including amaras, a pre-Columbian bound-resist; nuet of Tunisia and Morocco; many shibori variations in Central and West Africa such as adire oniko in Nigeria; and more.