Tuesday 23 November 2010

Kakishibu Stripes

Kaki-shibu, translates as 'persimmon-bitter', it is a natural dye prepared from the fermented juice of unripe persimmons. Juice is aged for up to five years to acquire the tobacco coloured tones. Unlike other dyes, kakishibu not only adds colour, it coats the fibres with a protective layer that makes the fabric water-resistant. Traditionally the anti-bacterial and waterproofing qualities of kakishibu meant it was also used as a wood preservative, an insect repellent and further utilised for medicinal purposes.

Yarns can be dyed then woven or finished cloth can be dipped and have surface designs applied by any of the traditional methods: painting, tie dyeing (Shibori), stencilling (Katazome), or printing using a rice paste resist (Tsutsugaki).