About Arashi Shibori
Shibori is the Japanese word for a textile technique in which fabric is stitched or folded, bound and dyed. The compression of the bindings ‘resists’ the dye, and so patterns are made. One method of doing this is Arashi Shibori, in which the artist uses a pole on which to wrap the silk, which is then bound with string, and compressed. The process of compressing produces pleats, which can be dyed – this leaves a linear pattern of lines where the dye cannot reach which resembles driving rain – Arashi means ‘storm’ in Japanese.
It is possible to ‘set’ the texture of the fabric if it is a natural fibre, such as silk or wool, using steam. With Arashi Shibori, this means the pleats are retained. The results in silk are fascinating and organic , with shimmering lines of contrast colour moving with the wearer. The pleats are ‘semi-permanent’, stable as long as they are kept dry. Polyester can also be set very successfully, and will be permanently pleated up to steam temperature.
Anne Selby’s work with Arashi Shibori pleating can be on single layers of silk, or multiple layers. The silk may be folded before pleating, or it may be pleated twice. Each stage requires considerable skill, patience, and ingenuity – as well as large quantities of silk.