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Sur la route du Tokaido @ Musée Guimet

It seems as I haven’ really come back from Japan… keep looking for indigo everywhere! On a busy day in paris, I managed to stop at the Musee Guimet to catch an exhibition showcasing a flurry of etchings from the famed Tokaido route. The Tokaido is the east and most famous of the Gokaido routes. It started to develop from the Kamakura (1185-1333) period, but reached a peak during the Edo (1603-1868) period. We have heard about it many times during our Japanese workshops as it widely participated to the flourishing indigo economy on that part of the island. Indigo is indeed very present in the etchings, in the landscapes but also on the clothes which are a fascinating sight if you have the slightest interest in indigo reserve techniques! The…

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Buaisou: advanced indigo dying and reserve techniques course

Mei Line @ Buaisu, Part 1: advanced indigo dying and reserve techniques course

A 10 day training organised by @leafluberon in Tokushima, Japan, at the @Buaisou-i workshop. An eagerly anticipated trip which went way ahead of my expectations. Filled with people passionate about indigo, natural dying practices, sustainability, life and slow fashion; it was an experience I will treasure for the years to come! You can also find out more about this experience on the Mei Line instagram account @Mei.Line.Design  @Buaisou-i is an indigo dyeing workshop and slow fashion creator but also an indigo farmer: the concept is “From farm to closet”. On top of the indigo dying and reserve techniques, we learned about the traditional Japanese indigo vat making named Aidate. We also visited several local workshops all rooted in local traditions but with a very modern edge that seriously…

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A workshop with Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson is a rockstar of the design world. Along with his wife he teaches origami techniques and their link to geometry from kindergarten to design students and has written several reference books on folding and pleated techniques. He presents himself as a paper artist, paper engineer, writer and teacher. We where very lucky to have him come and enlighten us about the technique as well as the math behind them, in a workshop at Couleur Garance, organised by the newly created LEAF Luberon Paul was so pleased with the association of Shibori and Origami, that he decided to give it a name: Shiborigami The concepts: The dying: Some maths…. Some folding Paul happy with the works at end of the week-end: Some of my creations over the…

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Arimatsu Shibori, from tradition to innovation

Was very lucky to attend a workshop with Kuno Hiroaki organised by Couleur Garance. His enthusiasm about traditional indigo shibori and the way he envisions it’s transposition into a XXIe century sustainable and modern production is very inspiring. We trained in Te-Kumo shibori, and realised the unbelievable amount of work needed to create the patterns by this tying method onto a large (or long) piece of fabric… Kuno brought with him some very ancient textiles, some of them created with forgotten shibori techniques that made then real treasures! Endless inspiration…

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Block printing

Block printing is a technique to create patterns by stamping shapes cut out of wooden blocks. The blocks are previously imprégnation either with concentrated mordant, or with mild acid that erases the mordant pre-existing on the fabric. This creates either a positive or negative contrast once exposed to the pigment. It is a bit tricky because the print only reveals itself much later in the process, after the dye has been applied. Block printing: The mordant is dried prints before dying Negative block print: the pattern appears lighter than the mordant After the pre-dye Finished fabric: for the printed bathrobes, every piece of the garment is printed to fit the final product, and every pattern is applied one by one…. Once assembled: Some block printed creations

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Indigo Shibori

Shibori is a method of negative contrats perfected over the centuries by Japanese tradition. There are many methods to keep particular areas of the fabric away from the dye in order for it to retain it’s original colour (here white). For Itajime shibori, the fabric is folded between wood blocks that are clamped together, the pressure impedes the fabric’s contact with pigment. After the desired colour is obtained, the fabric is unclamped and the pattern appears like magic! After Paul Jackson class, I was inspired to try some new shiborigami techiques… Arashi shibori is another reserve technique in which the lines are creating by only exposing part of the fabric that is tightly wrapped around a pole. Traditionaly in Japan, it was around a beautiful bamboo pole. Nowadays,…

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