for centuries, japan has been associated with a rich textile tradition. some of my favorite techniques are layering, pleating and resist-dyeing.
a method i've personally tried is arashi shibori also known as pole-wrapping shibori. it's a lot of work, but worth it. a long hollow pvc tube is needed, which is not something one normally keeps around the house. it's also cumbersome to store if one lives in a studio apartment with limited closet space.
mine was acquired when we didn't have a car and were living in chicago. g. still reminds me of the time he attempted to board a rush hour chicago bus with one of these that he picked up from home depot. naturally, the driver wouldn't let him board, which led to a 2 mile walk home.
g. if you're reading this, i love you for putting up with my diversions.
by wrapping fabric around this tube using string and tape, the fabric is then scrunched together and dyes are applied. an endless array of stripes and pleats are possible.
i also tried my hand at board clamping (itajime). these examples (and the ones above) are from shibori: the inventive art of japanese shaped resist dyeing.
if these images have inspired you to try shibori, these are some great resources:shibori: the inventive art of japanese shaped resist dyeing
shibori: creating color & texture on silk
wrapping up this post, below are examples of contemporary japanese textiles from an exhibit at the MoMA in 1998.
screenprinted and flash heated polyester
machine pleated and manually compressed polyester
nylon stitched onto soluble base fabric that is then dissolved