Shibori (from the verb root “shiboru” – “to wring, squeeze or press”) is a manual Japanese resist dyeing technique, which produces a number of varied patterns on fabric.

The technique of shibori dates back to the 8th century. It is thought to have originated in China but was popularized in Japan out of cultural necessity and creative ingenuity. In ancient Japan only the higher sections of the society were allowed to wear elaborately decorated fine garments. The working classes thus used shibori as a means to decorate their linen, hemp and other base fabrics.

The ancient art of manipulating cloth through tying, stitching, knotting or otherwise securing it, and then dyeing it to achieve specific coloured patterns binds cultures across space and time: from the earliest surviving examples of tie-dye found in Peru dating from around 500 AD, to the clamp-and-dye practiced in Japan, zha-ran of the Bai ethnic group in China, bandhani from the Indus River Civilisation and leheriya in Rajasthan, to plangi and tritik in Indonesia, nambu tigma in Tibet, to the tie-dye in West Africa and Berber communities, and to the psychedelic tie-dye of Western hippies.

World-over, some form of resist dyeing techniques have been found in different areas and cultures. Plangi, a Malay-lndonesian word for the process of gathering and binding cloth; Bandhani / bandhej, Indian terms for the same process; and tritik, a Malay-lndonesian word for stitch-resist. However, these three terms represent only two of the major shibori techniques. In this context, the word shibori seems the most useful term for the entire group of shaped resist textiles."

Shibori can also be defined by what it is not: shibori as a technique for dying cloth differs from that of ikat where the thread is dyed prior to weaving the fabric, and from techniques like batik, ajrakh, mud cloth and tsutsugaki which make use of resists and mordants painted onto the cloth, such as wax, mud or rice-paste.

Source : World Shibori Network

For Amrich, shibori is a craft of passion and it is something that the designers Amit & Richard have been exploring and practising for almost two decades.Having found their own creativity to guide them through the processes of resist dyeing, the designers love to combine the different facets of shibori to create textiles with innovative textures and patterns. The folding and manipulating techniques of shibori offer a vast canvas for them to play with and they do, each and every season.

They have been working for many years with crafts-people – learning and teaching. The initial sampling for every season is always planned and sampled by the designers and then along with the crafts-women that have been trained in-house, the production possibilities are worked on. Being a tedious multi-process technique, the team works out the designs that would be feasible to produce in terms of time and economics.

Apart from the manipulation of fabrics for dyeing, they also use their learning to create new hand-loomed textiles which are then used to combine different craft techniques – creating textured fabrics through their knowledge, to be used for a variety of other techniques like hand-block printing, embroidery, etc. For the label, the technique of shibori is a signature that is forever a mainstay in their collections.

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