Purchased by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli through a dealer in London in 2017. She could not recall much, possibly together with a kimono, and eventually added to The Zay Initiative collection.
This is a pink and ivory gradient (chirimen) silk (obiage) sash. It is plain and is in pair. It has been dyed using (shibori) technique.
Shibori is a Japanese dyeing technique that involves creating intricate patterns on fabric by folding, twisting, and binding it before dying. Unique and beautiful patterns could be created using different binding techniques with different dyes.
Some of the earliest surviving examples of shibori dyed fabrics like the cloth donated by Emperor Shomu to the Todai-ji Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan date back to c. 8th century. Coupled with examples of recorded history such as written descriptions of the art or objects decorated in such art forms support the belief of its origin in Japan.
Initially, it was used to dye silk for the emperors and aristocrats as well as clothes for the commoners. Different shibori techniques like shape resist, pole wrapping, etc involve different methods of binding the fabric before dyeing resulting in unique patterns and textures. One of the most common techniques involves binding sections of the fabric with string or rubber bands to create a resist pattern. The fabric is then dyed, and the areas where the resist was applied remain undyed, creating a pattern.
It can be done with a variety of natural and synthetic dyes, including indigo. It involves creating a fermented vat of indigo, which is then used to dye the fabric. The fabric is dipped repeatedly in the indigo vat, with each dip creating a darker shade of blue. This traditional practice of using indigo for shibori is quite popular even today.