For anyone who has ever pulled up and dyed a simple stitched resist, the beauty and complexity of Jane Callender’s work is awe-inspiring. In this generous book, she shares, with great accuracy, her mastery of shibori techniques and dyeing. Attention to detail makes this an excellent guide for all levels.
An introduction explains shibori as the interaction between compressed cloth and dye. Shibori Tradition and pages throughout the text reveal the history of shibori worldwide and how politics, economics and fashion affected design, including particular techniques developed by significant Japanese masters in modern times.
The Techniques section proceeds from the simplest to more complex stitched patterns and shows the power of simple motifs in repeat. Even complex techniques are made clear with step-by-step photos and illustrations. Only a few indigo photos are perhaps too dark to easily discern. Some 100 pages are devoted to cloth preparation and process for specific techniques. Even the most experienced practitioner will learn something new about stitching on a single layer, on folded or pleated cloth, or on over sewing, capping and machine stitching. Motif development by filling in larger shapes encourages creativity. Techniques not usually associated with stitch resist such as clamp resist and binding or capping to a core increase our understanding of the possibilities. Suggestions on dip dying for variety in some patterns and buffers for clean edges and to prevent knots from pulling through are invaluable. Degumming silk and even working on synthetic fabrics for interesting dimensional results without dying is explained. Japanese stitch names are used throughout.
Sections on Pattern and Dyes will set the novice on the right path. Although many examples are dyed in traditional indigo, which is particularly well suited to resist dyeing, mordanted natural dyes, tannins and fiber reactive dyes enliven the book. There are excellent didactic chapters at the end of the book on these dyes. Indigo in particular is well explained. Callender acknowledges the dye experts she has learned from: Charlotte Kwon of Maiwa, French dye chemist Michel Garcia and her compatriot author Jenny Balford Paul. The chapters devoted to discharge, fiber reactive and other natural dyes whet the appetite for further exploration. Imperial measurements need the slight conversion to US Gallons and fluid ounces, but gram measurements are always accurate. The reader is encouraged to innovate and adapt traditional patterns according to her own artistic creativity. The author provides excellent sections on working with a grid and planning ahead for complex interactions between small pattern motifs. Other valuable tips are highlighted throughout. Callender’s book should be read through with care and referred back to often when planning a new project. In this age of searchable documents on line, references back or ahead to useful pages on particular techniques are appreciated.
Finally, the gallery of Callender’s own inspiring artwork shows what true mastery of craft can produce. This is an excellent companion to Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s two earlier seminal books on shibori. Callender’s book is a must have for all textile schools, shibori dyers and surface design artists.
Reviewed by Barbara Shapiro, textile, educator and artist. San Francisco, Previously published in Shuttle, Spindle and Dye pot for the Handweavers Guild of America.
Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
The author is very well known as both a tutor and textile artist, and this book certainly met my high expectations.
Starting with an explanation of the process and an overview of worldwide shibori traditions, the text moves seamlessly through a full description of procedures, starting with methods of scouring fabrics for dyeing, knots and stitching variations. The very clearly illustrated and numerous step-by-step methods, generally referred to by their traditional terminology, are illustrated with photographs of the results. Design advice is provided throughout, so that you don’t just master techniques, but learn to use them as effectively as possible. Chapters towards the end of the book are devoted to dyeing firstly, with indigo (including the natural organic vat), then -more unusually for shibori using natural dyes, iron and finally cold water fibre reactive dyes.
Unusually this book is very suitable for both beginners and more advanced dyers. For the former, the text is logically organised and clear enough to be viewed as a complete self-teaching guide, but even for those with some experience there are likely to be some new ideas to try. If you have never tried shibori before, the stunning photographs will inevitably tempt you in.
A comprehensive resource for shibori. The book is divided into three sections: Techniques, Pattern and Dyeing with how-to instructions and photographs. To my knowledge this is the most comprehensive book on shibori. Develop motifs for unique textiles. Indigo recipes and ones for other dyes too, ensure a range a colours. Suitable for the beginner with challenges for every level. Illustrated throughout with some of the most remarkable examples of shibori outside Japan. Learn about shibori tradition, preparation, process, pattern, folds and more. Mokume is my favourite technique. I found Jane’s work years ago, and my jaw still drops at her amazing achievements. I just want to work through this book from beginning to end and over and over again. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in dyeing, stitching and shibori. Simply wonderful, demonstrating the true art of shibori.
Workshop on the web
Jane Callender has written the most marvellous book, ‘Stitched Shibori’, in encyclopaedic detail. Exploring the art of Shibori, in particular reference to stitched pieces and the pattern they create, this book exhaustively covers everything. It consists of three sections Technique, Pattern and Dyeing. In Technique, there are 35 different approaches to stitching fabric. Many different stitches and patterns are explored, whether stitching on a single or double layer, how space between stitches can change a pattern, curve, pleat or binding. There are variations within each choice, producing multitudes of photographs of all the different effects achieved by changing the smallest detail. It is quite
mind-boggling! If you want to work on stitched Shibori techniques, there can’t be many places where you can find all the answers. Pattern is a short section but teaches how to create the different patterns and stencils. You can see how combining techniques creates an infinite number of patterns if you thought the first section was overwhelming, suddenly the world of Shibori opens up more widely. The Dyes section is extensively recipe-laden with many different Shibori dyes and how to create them.
Shibori is a technique with its roots in Africa, China, and Japan. I’ve seen some
pieces that are as intricate and delicate as a snowflake and as such I’ve rather filed this technique in the box marked advanced i.e. not for me. Jane is a highly respected Shibori artist, teacher and speaker and so used to breaking down the technicalities of this centuries-old tradition into practical steps. The book is laid out intelligently, starting with the process of sewing in a single line of straight stitch with clear illustrations and photos showing the results that can be achieved. You can progress quite quickly by introducing more lines and layers or with folds and curves. Finished patterns can quickly become quite kaleidoscopic and for anyone interested in designing their own fabrics this could possibly get quite addictive. I was particularly drawn to the chapter on Wrapped Pattern, which combines stitching on the fold with binding the cloth around a cylinder for its more unpredictable results (but that’s me all over: living on the edge!). As with any technique involving dyes, you’ve got to have a certain amount of space to experiment and be comfortable handling chemicals. There are safety guidelines and recipes for all manner of dyes, both natural and synthetic, at the back of the book and some amazing colour combinations can be achieved with practice. Marigolds at the ready!
Stitched Shibori is the Japanese art of immersing textiles in a dye bath and creating pattern using a range of stitched resist techniques (think tye-dyeing but on another level!). In this practical and beautiful guide, renowned expert Jane Callender showcases techniques, patterns and dyes in three comprehensive sections. Complete with full instructions, illustrations, photographs, designs, tips and advice, her guide features ideas for using grids, folding, pleating, motifs and stencils (plus other techniques) to create beautiful designs. It includes due recipes and useful advice on which fabrics to use. We believe it is a wonderful handbook for beginners and experienced textile artists alike.
East Kent Embroiderers Guild
At its simplest, shibori is the art of folding and pleating fabric, so distorting it before immersion in the dyebath. But it is so much more than that and eminent artist Jane Callender, who has devoted her working life to the art of shibori and indigo dyeing, presents, what will surely become, without doubt, a reference work for future generations of devotees of the craft. The book is divided into three sections technique, pattern and dyeing, each meticulously explored with both lavish photography and highly detailed diagrams and explanations. A huge range of different stitch techniques are illustrated, used to create a myriad of specific designs and effects, together with the recipes for indigo and fibre-reactive dyes. This is an invaluable and inspiring resource book for both the beginner and the more experienced highly recommended.
Shibori is a resist dye technique often associated with indigo. In its most basic form, stitches and/or pleats are applied to cloth before dying to create undyed, neutral marks or areas of pattern.
Jane Callender, as Jenny Balfour-Paul explains in her foreword, is one of the few British shibori practitioners whose work can be considered a match to the foremost Japanese artists and in this book, the author brings to bear more than three decades of expert knowledge in this ancient craft. Callender wastes no time delving into every aspect of creating patterns using stitch resist. She begins with a brief introduction to shibori, before explaining the basics of
preparation, tying knots, pulling threads and simple stitch arrangements. In pages 22-122 she explains all the key stitch-resist techniques needed how various lengths, directions and rhythms of hand and machine stitch produce different marks. When combined with folds, pleats, binding, capping, wrapping, appliqué or multiple layers, the possibilities are endless. A second chapter reveals how to create intricate patterns. Finally she provides tuition and recipes for natural and synthetic indigo dyeing, as well as natural dyes and throughout, the instructions are explained clearly with helpful diagrams and photographs.
Jane Callender has condensed a lifetime of practical expertise to create what can be best described as the shibori artist’s best friend, packed with both traditional and inventive stitch-resist techniques, designs and inspiration, including examples of her own work.
Readers of this book will not be disappointed both beginners and experienced makers will benefit from this guide, which at this price provides incredible value for a reference book you will return to again and again.
Master the art of Japanese stitch-resist dyeing through both traditional and more innovative techniques of stitching and staining fabric. This book guides you through the process starting with detailed explainations of how to create patterns with stitches and offering helpful photos of each finished effect. It contains all the information you need to get started, while its inspiring content ensures that it will remain a fruitful resource as you become an experiened textile artist.