Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Dyeing Life in Tokyo

Not exactly your nubby center of handicrafts, Tokyo has everything—even dye-your-own textile shops for experimenting with a time-honored and luscious shade of blue.


Hureai, a do-it-yourself indigo dye shop in Tokyo.

Photo: Bill Bishop

Sunday morning in Tokyo, and on the way to Rikugien Gardens, “known as the Waka poetry Garden,” we came upon blue, bustling, and a strong smell, which we must unpoetically compare to cat pee.

It turned out to be a tiny indigo dye shop on in the Bukyo precinct. Scarves, hats and blouses were being toted out to the sidewalk for display. The lure worked and we ducked inside. There were three young children and a woman all too intent on their tasks to pay us much mind. The woman was bunching and knotting up a swatch of cotton fabric, seemingly experimenting with shibori – Japanese tie-dye (which by the way has been re-discovered this fall by several high fashion designers).

The youngsters were up to their elbows in two big sinks, stirring their own textile experiments in indigo. Liquid in the vats looked thick, brackish-blue. Two boys glanced up from their activity but then quickly returned to the work/play at hand.

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Posted by Julie on 10/20 at 10:31 PM
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