This past semester I was lucky enough to join in on a special class at Kyoto Seika University in Yu-zen dyeing (友禅). Yu-zen is the traditional method used to dye spectacular kimono.
For this class we dyed a piece of silk fabric about 1metre by 80cm. The other students in the class were second years in the Textiles department so they were forced to produce a design on the theme of self portrait. (ergh how second year Art-school is that!) Being a free-wheeling research student (!) I was allowed to create my own design as I wished. I chose to use the image of an Australian Rosella.
Here are some photos and explanations of the process.
|My design in progress|
|We used this dark blue ink to paint the design onto our fabric|
|design all painted on the silk|
|Then you take this tube made of a reinforced Japanese paper that has a metal tip attached to the end. You fill it with a resist paste made of rice flour and rice bran. It looks like melty peanut butter.|
|...pipe the resist paste onto the fabric, a la cake decorating, following the blue design.|
|Paste applied to entire design and has dried. Ready to dye!|
|In progress. Its really just like painting in between the lines using a watercolour brush and chemical dyestuffs.|
|Blossom section. You can see the brown paste lines, which will later be washed off to reveal the white fabric underneath.|
|Dyed, steamed and washed! Ta-da! But not done yet...|
|so that I can dye the background, the design gets covered up again with resist paste and dried.|
|Then I dye with purple over the whole fabric. Steam and wash it all over again and...|