Indigo Shibori Inspiration


A recent interview with Danish artist, Grethe Wittrock, about her work for an exhibition at the Fuller Craft Museum has reignited our forever-love of indigo textile traditions. Her feathery fabric treatments in white and indigo got us thinking about Japanese Shibori specifically and finding inspiration in its elemental patterns that evoke water and sky. We love how the patterns vary and balance both loose/organic and structured/ geometric elements. Components that make it so friendly to interior décor and a wide range of product categories.

With many fine Shibori examples in our textile collection at the Museum of International Folk Art, we decided to create an inspiration board. As well as highlight a recent textile collection by our licensing partner Designtex. While not developed in partnership with us, we still love how they utilized the traditional patterns and shading to create a collection that is both true to its traditional source and fresh and contemporary. Please visit their site to see more.

Shibori is a Japanese resist dyeing technique using an infinite number of binding, stitching, folding or twisting techniques to create the pattern. Traditionally an art form of the poor in feudal Japan to renew old clothing, it eventually flourished and evolved into many forms and styles across classes. Two distinct forms emerged: one to decorate silk for the kimonos of the aristocracy and another as regional styles of folk art. There are about 15 different styles and each is complex and requires specific mastery in that technique, with traditional artisans spending years to develop their skill in that method. Most commonly created in shades of blue and white with indigo dye, many other colors can be used as well. We are currently taken with shades of blue and white.

And last but not least, more wonderful indigo inspiration from Rowland and Chinami Ricketts.

L to R, T to B: Work by Grethe Wittrock, Designtex Shibori patterns, Shibori Studio wallpaper, Rebecca Atwood pillows, Shibori textile from Museum of International Folk Art, Feeling Groovy tent.