Despite the fact that many textiles employ the aesthetic discussed under What Does “Tsujigahana” Mean?, it is the mastered combination of shibori (string resist) and hand painted images that first comes to mind when we speak of tsujigahana, and this is what we will be focusing on in this article.
Here are a few sample designs representing typical images found in tsujigahana. I’ve redrawn them from samples in my collection.
The first step is to prepare a cartoon. A light table comes in handy when transferring the image to the silk.
Blueflower (青花, aobana) is used as the transfer ink. It disappears on contact with water. The next step varies with the artist – the permanent lines may be inked in at this point, including the shading, or the images may be inked in once the shibori process has been completed which is the example I will follow below.
The next several images have been borrowed from this site to allow me to add captions in English.
Most shibori techniques employ very strong string as the primary resist, allowing the craftsperson to pull the gathers tight.
Once the outlines are tied off, the areas that won’t be dyed for the time being must be protected.
These areas are capped off. Traditionally the sheaths from bamboo shoots were used, but today various types of plastic are preferred.
Section by section, color by color each segment of the design is addressed.
To ink in the lines a number of synthetic dyes may be used, or simply soot or indigo pigment mixed with soymilk. A fude-style brush is used for the outlines to give sharp detailed lines, and a surikomi brush is used to do the shading around the edges to soften the look and add some whimsy.
Black is not the only color used to paint in designs. The colors and designs are limited only by the artist’s imagination.