Memory on Cloth
Shibori is infinitely more than the tie-dye that became well known in the late 1960s. Shaped-resist dyeing techniques have been done for centuries in every corner of the world. Yet more than half of the known techniques —in which cloth is in some way tied, clamped, folded, or held back during dyeing, to keep some areas from taking color — originated in Japan.
Shibori can be used not only to create patterns on cloth but to turn fabric from a two-dimensional into a three-dimensional object. The word is used here to refer to any process that leaves a “memory on cloth” —a permanent record, whether of patterning or texture, of the particular forms of resist done. In addition to traditional methods it encompasses high-tech processes like heat-set on polyester (made famous by Issey Miyake’s revolutionary pleated clothing), melt-off on metallic fabric, the fulling and felting that make it possible to turn all-natural fabrics into three-dimensional shapes, weaving resist (in which, for instance, a warp thread can be pulled to gather the cloth to resist dye), and dévorée, in which just one part of a mixed fabric is dissolved with chemicals.
Author Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada has been teaching shibori around the world for nearly thirty years, and helped to establish the World Shibori Network and the International Shibori Symposium. She coauthored in 1983 the authoritative Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped-Resist Dyeing, which in turn inspired many artists to add shibori processes to their repertoire.
The range of vibrant modern art covered in Memory on Cloth is remarkable, and includes work by artists from Africa, South America, Europe, India, Japan, China, Korea, the United States, and Australia in more than 325 stunning photos and illustrations. It encompasses fabric design, wearable art and fashion, and textile art or various sculptural forms. The work of more than seventy innovative designers including Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Jurgen Lehl, Jun’ichi Arai, Hélène Soubeyran, Geneviève Dion, Asha Sarabhai, Junco Sato Pollack, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Marian Clayden, and Carter Smith is presented, and each artist shares details on the processes that they themselves have created, making this an invaluable reference for artists in every field. A number of innovative artists who combine shibori techniques with knitting, weaving, or quilting are also included, suggesting new ways to combine innovation with more traditional forms. A final section on modern techniques gives extremely detailed information, including dye recipes, on various high-tech processes and the particular methods that individual artists use to achieve certain effects.
As informative as it is inspirational, Memory on Cloth will take its place alongside Wada’s earlier work, Shibori, as a definitive text that will help keep shaped-resist dyeing processes a vibrant and important form of modern art.
- More than 325 stunning photos and illustrations
- Encompasses fabric design, wearable art and fashion, and textile art or various sculptural forms
- Covers more than seventy innovative designers
- Includes works by artists from Africa, South America, Europe, India, Japan, China, Korea, the United States, and Australia
- Each artist shares details on the processes that they themselves have created
“... substantially broadens the [Japanese] term shibori ... to similar processes used all over the world.”
—European Textile Network
“... this book will confirm old passions — and ignite new ones for initiates.”
—Textile Fibre Forum
“... a sumptuous book, sure to delight the art lover and the expert designer. Profusely illustrated, it captures shibori’s planned and accidental evanescence, its ability to express seemingly endless variations of color and texture.”
—Sigrid Wortmann Weltge, American Craft
About the Author
For nearly thirty years, surface-design artist, curator, and textile researcher YOSHIKO IWAMOTO WADA has been teaching shibori, first in Berkeley, California and then around the world. Many who took her classes went on to become artists and teachers themselves, and thanks to Wada’s efforts the field has expanded geometrically over the course of a single generation. In 1983 she also coauthored, with Mary Kellogg Rice and Jane Barton, the definitive book in English, Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped-Resist Dyeing. As Jack Lenor Larsen puts it in his foreword to Memory on Cloth, “Through her first book, Shibori, and through her exhibits, lectures, and personal persuasion in every communication medium, Wada has single-handedly changed our field and its language.” Because of her commitment to keeping shibori traditions alive, the word “shibori” has now become universally accepted as the term for shaped-resist processes. Wada continues to travel the world searching for shibori innovations and outstanding artists.
For more information on shibori art, research, and activities worldwide, visit the World Shibori Network web site at www.shibori.org.