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Swath of Vintage Shibori Cotton Fabric: Geometric Itajime


This is a length of lightweight Japanese shibori cotton dyed into a geometric pattern using what appears to be an Itajime or board clamp dying technique.

The process is simple enough. Cloth is folded into wide vertical pleats,  then repeatedly reverse folded into a square, rectangular, or triangular form. This creates a neat bundle of folded cloth that is fitted between boards or sticks, held in place with a cord, and dipped selectively in the dye.

The multiple folds in the cloth create simple geometric patterns.  The shape of the folded cloth, the amount of pressure exerted on it by the clamping device, the areas dipped into the dye, and the length of time the cloth comes in contact with the dye all affect the outcome. 

In this example, a deep synthetic indigo was used on machine loomed cotton from a yukata, casual summer kimono, from which this piece was salvaged. 

In good condition, save for slight discoloration to one end of the cloth due to age.

Two pieces of equal length and condition are currently available.

Dimensions: 13 x 53in ; 33 x 134cm
Mid 1900s

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