the Commonhouse, Venice Beach
Shibori is the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, plaiting, or plucking and twisting. With shibori the dyer works in concert with the materials, not in an effort to overcome their limitations but to allow them full expression. Chance and accident also give life to the shibori process, and this is its special magic and strongest appeal. At its core, shibori is a way of making patterns on fabric through exposing only some portions of the fabric to dye. Much of the work of shibori is in the preparation: the fabric is folded, tied, sewn, or pleated to dictate the pattern of the dye.
In this workshop, different types of Shibori folding techniques were taught. After practicing on several dish towels, the students ended the day with a full-sized Turkish bath towel.