Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. This time her destination was Arimatsu, Aichi prefecture. She went to a place where the influence of the Edo era lingers, and she encountered beautiful shibori fabric born of expert hands.
Characteristic of Arimatsu Shibori, pleats and creases are introduced into the textile, which is then bound with string, and then dyed. The pleating and tying techniques are difficult, and encompass more than 60 variations. Therefore, Arimatsu artisans use a one-artisan-one-technique strategy, and each works to perfect that single technique.
The only tool she employs is a 60 year-old v-shaped base for tying. She places the textile over the base and mists it. She then uses thumbs and forefingers to form the pleats, and she ties it with string to fix it in place.
“There’s no sketch or guide. I just visualize an image and fold the pleats with my fingers by intuition,” says Ms. Matsuoka. I hear only the crisp sound of activity as she makes creases by rubbing her thumbs over the densely folded textile. I glance at her thumbs and they appear amazingly smooth!