Our pals The Hill-Side have teamed up with BUAISOU in Tokushima, to produce a special, limited edition run of t-shirts, El Segundo shirts, pocket squares, scarves, and ties using the Japanese technique of natural indigo shibori dyeing.
Shibori is a resist-dyeing technique which involves tying, folding, twisting, and wrapping fabric around objects to achieve specific shapes and patterns during the dyeing process. Each piece in their shibori collection is hand-dyed in one of Buaisou’s methodically prepared vats of 100% natural plant indigo – achieving a deep, luminous “Japan Blue” color.
We think its something to cast your eye on because in our own experience, the vast majority of indigo fabric today is dyed with synthetic indigo, which is a much cheaper and easier process. Here in Thailand we are experiencing this first hand. It’s happening in remote dyeing businesses up Northern Thailand, as chemicals catalyse the dyeing process, making it all-up quicker and easier, but toxic run-off is a byproduct that leeches into the soil as a result. Buaisou’s artisans are masters of the old, time-consuming process of growing and harvesting indigo plants, then composting the leaves into “sukumo,” which is later fermented in ash lye, calcium hydroxide, and wheat bran to create their indigo dye vats. The Buaisou team runs every step of this traditional process at their farm and workshop in Tokushima, Japan’s traditional hub of indigo production, on Shikoku Island in western Japan.
Have a look at the fruits of their labor.
All dyeing photos courtesy of Kyoko Nishimoto / BUAISOU www.buaisou-i.com