Faded brightness, darkened shades and repeating patterns, in natural colors. Once you’ve seen a product of the shibori technique, you’ll recognize it anywhere. Each shibori item is unique and hand-made, with a deeper meaning behind its intricate patterns on fabric. The latest collaboration of Urban Nature Culture and Gyda Kropff’s Life In Patterns brand is the result of that technique – dating back to the 8th century and finding its roots in Japan. In this blog, we’ll explore Gyda’s beautiful Life In Patterns – INDIGO brand and discover how shibori is made.
Life In Patterns: we all create our own pattern
It’s not the first and certainly not the last time Urban Nature Culture has joined forces with the beautiful, creative mind of Gyda Kropff. The Dutch designer is the creator and mother of FABEL – the brand that we know from the stunning spirit animals. Stitch by stitch, these animals came to life, creating a fascinating pattern and telling a unique story. With ‘Life In Patterns’, Gyda invites you into her world once more.
Life In Patterns tells you about the great connection between us all. In life, we all create our own pattern. We blaze a trail that’s unlike anyone else. Each day invites you to choose, to follow, lead or let go. Whichever choice we make and no matter where we end up, no life is the same and we all follow our own, personal pattern. There’s infinite ways to live our lives, and you can follow your heart, mind or soul on your many adventures along the way. We can choose to hold on to old loves, follow a new passion or stick to the same connections we have. Life In Patterns – INDIGO tells us that by embracing or releasing things, the most beautiful patterns can come to life. And that’s exactly what the Shibori technique is about.
Shibori: no shibori is the same
For hundreds of years, the shibori technique has colored the world with the deep-blue color of indigo. The earliest example of cloth dyed with this technique dates back to the 8th century, part of the goods donated by the Emperor Shōmu to the Tōdai-ji in Nara. There’s infinite numbers of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist or compress Shibori cloth, a manual resist technique that goes by many different names – from Kanoko Shibori (related to tie-dye), Miura Shibori (a water-like design with looped binding), Arashi Shibori (cloth is wrapped on a diagonal around a pole) and more. First, the pattern is made by using binding, stitching, folding or compressing cloth, after which it is dyed in a bath of indigo or any other natural color – mostly madder or purple root.
Shibori is often defined as cloth that is given three-dimensional shape and is then dyed. After the cloth has returned to its two-dimensional form, the design that emerges is the result of the three-dimensional shape of the cloth, the type of resist and the amount of pressure exerted by the thread or clamp that secured the shape during the cloth’s exposure to the dye. It’s the ‘memory’ of the shape that remained imprinted in the cloth – and that’s the very essence of shibori – coming right back to the philosophy behind Life In Patterns – INDIGO. It’s the choices we make in life, the patterns we create, that define our present and future.
The Shibori designs that she made, Gyda used to design the stunning Life In Patterns – INDIGO bamboo plates. Made from one of the most green sources nature offers, it shows us that all the wires and dots in our patterned life are connected. Check out the bamboo collection HERE!