24 March, 2015

Shibori Fabric Museum

I don't recall how I stumbled on this, but if you like to sew, to create, put this on your short list for amazing things to experience in Kyoto.

Shibori means manipulating the fabric from design to finish in the dyeing process.

This piece has been tied off in thousands of tiny circles. By hand, you could create 300 knots a day.

A machine similar  to tying flies (fishing) is used to up your productivity to 3000 knots/day.

300 knots on the above piece measure about 6" x 1.5".

The piece above has been tied and also dyed.

You can carefully rip out the knots in seconds, revealing the tiny eye squares.

Which we were able to do - ourselves!

Our guide - oh - bear in mind, we paid 500 yen to come to this museum - brought over samples for us to not only touch but rip apart!

There are many ways of tying off the fabric. From plastic tube to tiny string knots.

The master designer sketches the design, makes a stencil, applies design to fabric.

He then makes marks on the design for where particular knots go to create the finished design.

The fabric then goes to the knot tyers, then to the dye guy.

When the knots are ripped out, -where the dye did not reach -the design is revealed.

Sneaking photographs here.
This is the spring wall mural.
Made up of maybe ten 36"wide panels.

Please click on each photo to make larger. This is absolutely stunning in the workmanship.
2yrs7mo to create.

And they have the Summer, Autumn, & Winter murals as well. (8 yrs altogether).

They have another mural on display of the Kyoto mountains - maybe 270' view.

Absolutely breathtaking.
Sorry - no photos allowed.

The dyeing accuracy is handled by masters. Definitely not tie dye bulls-eyes.

You can try on a shibori - dyed kimono with an obi.
Such fun.

The reason they can rip apart knots is because of old stock upstairs that was never dyed.
Less valuable than modern shibori with less knots.

I'll post links when I get home.
They do have a Facebook page.


  1. Thank you for sharing your stories in Japan. I'm really enjoying them :)) It sounds very interesting to visit the Shibori Fabric museum, I'll definitely try it on my next visit to Kyoto. Have a great time on the rest of your trip too!

  2. I bet you were in fabric heaven there! You look great in that kimono! Looks like you're having a blast there! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. So often I want to touch at museums! How lovely that you can here!


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