Shibori is the Japanese word for a type of resist fabric-dying process that utilizes binding, tying, pleating, hooking, stitching, and even pole-binding in order to create patterns in dyed fabric. A centuries-old art, these techniques were used to embellish fabric worn by poor commoners whose budget prohibited embellishments such as beading, brocade weaving, and metallic embroidery. This resist dying process is also found throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Though ancient, the practice continues to modernize, and the upcoming Textile Center show is a great example of how shibori can be surprisingly modern. To the Western eye, the dying results may simply appear to be tie-dye, but in recent years shibori has been used to pattern glass, and even to create complex sculptures. "Shibori Cut Loose" will feature 21 juried artists from North America and West Bengal, India, with works ranging from intricately repetitious tapestries, fabric sculptures that appear to be colorful clouds that could float away at any moment, bound fabric as sheer and delicate as an underwater creature, and practical clothing items that can be worn day-to-day. With its variations on practical and artistic textiles, it's not surprising that shibori has spanned centuries.
June 6-July 19, 2008