key art terms

Here’s a brief list of Japanese art terms I’ll be throwing about. Please click the links for more information.

aizome Dyeing with indigo, from ai (indigo) + zome (from someru to dye, to color). Indigo-dyeing is practiced all over the world, using various types of indigo plants which are then processed into a dyestuff to color fiber. Not sure what indigo looks like? Picture the blue of denim blue jeans.

For a brief history of Japanese indigo dyeing and how to, go here

For the Wikipedia article about Indigo, go here

shibori Shibori is the name for a collection of traditional Japanese surface design techniques involving mark-making through resist techniques. The fabric is manipulated (by folding, compressing, twisting, tying, or stitching) and secured before dyeing. The manipulated areas resist the dye.

For a brief definition from the World Shibori Network, go here

The book: Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing by Yoshiko Yamamoto Wada, Mary Kellogg Rice and Jane Barton. It is my shibori technique reference bible.

Some types of shibori I have tried include: itajime (clamped), pole wrapped and bound (sometimes referred to as arashi {rainstorm} depending on the technique used), bound to a soft core, motifs stitched and bound, stitched and compressed, and katano (pleated and stitched). Slight variations of techniques and patterns all receive very specific names and categorization so shibori labels can be tricky.

kasuri A surface design that involves resisting the warp or weft (or both) before weaving. This technique is usually known as ikat outside of Japan.

katazome A surface design technique using paste, applied through a stencil, as a resist. A related technique is tsutsugaki, where the paste is “drawn” on using a cone, kind of like drawing icing on a cake.

Here’s a look at the katazome process, in pictures, link

A great book on this technique is Japanese Stencil Dyeing: Paste Resist Techniques by Eisha Nakano and Barbara Stephan.

related terms: kata (stencil), tsutsu (cone for freehand drawing with paste), katanori (paste)

sericulture Raising silkworms for the production of silk.

Read a brief history of sericulture, from insects.org, here