Shibori and Sashiko

Many people think Sashiko and Shibori are related. Sashiko and Shibori are completely different method to create patterns on fabrics and what is common in those two is the color “Indigo“. ¬†Sashiko designs are often used in Shibori.

Shibori versus Sashiko

Shibori (Shiborizome) on the left and Sashiko on the right.

Until the 20th century, not many fabrics and dyes were in widespread use in Japan. The main fabrics were silk and hemp, and later cotton. The main dye was indigo. Indigo is among the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing. Many Asian countries have used indigo as a dye for centuries.

Shibori (Shiborizome) is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it. Some of there methods are known in the West as tie-dye. Western civilization does not have an exact word equivalent that encompasses all the techniques of shibori. Tie-dye simply covers binding methods of dyeing, know as bound resist.

Sashiko stitching was traditionally done by white thread on Indigo dyed fabric. The white cotton thread on the indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance.

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