Dip Into Tara St James’s Shibori Dyeing Technique
No surprise here: Tara St James, one of sustainability’s coolest designers, is super into shibori, a time-tested Japanese dyeing style that’s been getting a lot of love in the fashion world lately. She rarely has the time to apply the technique, but for her Of a Kind edition, something extra-special was in order. Behold: a look at all the pleats and folds that go into Study’s exclusive tee.
“There are hundreds and hundreds of different shibori techniques—the one I am doing is fairly simplistic and appropriate for this project. It is just a question of folding and pleating the garment a certain way before you dye it.”
“Shibori is almost like a resist dye, where you are only dying part of the garment.”
“When I was visiting Japan several years ago, I went into a vintage kimono shop and saw some of the indigo-dyed cotton kimonos with shibori dye patterns. They blew my mind! I bought a how-to book and have been testing the technique ever since. “
“Because it’s a black dye, we are unable to use vegetable or plant dyes, as black is nearly impossible to achieve naturally. So we used a low-impact fiber-reactive dye.”
“The technique is difficult to incorporate into the regular collection because it’s so labor-intensive, but I try when I can.”
“The T-shirt is 100-percent cotton, and the dye has been set so the T-shirt can be machine-washed in cold water—with eco-friendly detergents, preferably.”