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Shibori (Tie-Dyed) Yukata

The season of Yukata (浴衣, traditional summer cloth usually made of cotton) has come!

When I was tidying up the closet of my parents house, I found a Yukata made of Shibori (絞り) fabric. Shibori is very rare and precious nowadays, but I remember my mother and grand mother used to wear Shibori very often.

Shibori is a name of tie-dye method of making patterns by firmly tying parts of fabric so that the tied parts are left blank. Generally, there are two kinds of Shibori in Japan: the expensive ones called Kyo Kanoko (京鹿の子) for formal clothing, and the casual ones for cotton clothing such as Yukata.

In fact, I haven’t been a big fan of Shibori until today, because Shibori may make me look chubby and uncomfortable. However, when I touched it for the first time in decades, I suddenly realized its value. Shibori is made of true craftsmanship of Japanese tradition, tying countless numbers of knots, dyeing with proficient skill, and carefully untying the knots again… I mean how could I do not appreciate such a wonderful piece of art?

I think I am going to wear my Shibori Yukata at Gion Festival. Choosing Obi (帯, belt for Kimono) and other accessories is also a big part.


Please click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, “Do You Know?”

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