A Length of Shirokage Shibori: Shippo Tsunagi
ca. mid twentieth century
45" x 13", 114 cm x 33 cm
This is a length of indigo dyed cotton which has been dyed in the shibori method, utilizing a technique referred to as shirokage or white shadow work.
Shirokage is a technique which requires great skill; it is one of the most admired shibori techniques as one needs to be an accomplished shibori artist to create good shirokage, which this is. Note the strong, clear dyed blue lines against a stark, white ground. This makes for good shirokage shibori.
The design is called shippo tsunagi which is an interlocking circle motif meant to suggest the seven Buddhist treasures. The shippo tsunagi pattern has been embellished by an additional dyeing process where a fine mist of small dots has been stenciled over the surface of the cloth, which can be seen in the accompanying photograph. Some of this fine mist has faded, but the indigo blue shibori is still very strong.
Note that the cotton is a bit worn and very slightly discolored from age and use, and appearing on it, especially on one edge near the bottom, is a small grouping of stains. There is one unfinished, short edge and one finished, short edge.
An very good piece of cotton shibori.