Designers are notorious for gathering inspiration from fashion trends around the world. This is exactly what 3×1 High rise skinny jeans creator and designer Scott Morrison did for his spring range of denim wear. The shibori style of clothing creation is comes from a traditional Japanese trend of tie-dying with indigo yields, dating back to the 8th century. This is technique is something that Morrison combined with the heritage of American workwear in a unique way.
Basically, Morrison enlisted a team of Japanese artisans to help bring his vision to life. Collaboratively, they came up with a range of shibori inspired clothing, including a jumpsuit, a crop top, and karate pants. These made big fashion waves in the spring of 2015, many of the designs featured throughout Vogue.
There were a range of techniques and strategies that Morrison learnt from the Japanese artisans he worked work. Morrison reflected on these techniques and the importance of learning from other cultures to create something new.
The basic steps to achieving the stylishly cool shibori look entail the following.
Clamping the fabric
The fabric needs to be folded and clamped together so that the indigo will reach out to the parts of the fabric you want to it go. The way that you fold the fabric will indicate how much indigo reaches the center of the material. Similarly, how well saturated the fabric is will dictate how the pattern looks in the end.
Dyeing it with spacers
When the folded fabric is ready to dye, rubber spacers are pressed firmly between the layers. This ultimately minimizes indigo saturation. Together with the pressure maintained by the clamps, the rubber spacers achieve the pattern.
Presoak the fabric
This is an important step in order to allow the indigo to move in a consistent manner throughout the fabric.
An indigo bath
This is the biggest step in the process. For shibori, the indigo used is derived from a natural plant base. The fabric can be removed from the indigo bath after a good soak. The time of the soak completely depends on the intended levels of saturation.
Remove the clamp
The moment of truth is revealed when the clamp comes off. By this point, the indigo has gone through a natural oxidation process and this continues as the clamp comes off. The indigo will present different colors as it goes through the stages of oxidation. After passing through yellows and blues and greens, the indigo will eventually settle on a consistent color from edge to edge.
The final step in the process is to step back and admire the awesome pattern that has been created. The shibori technique is really unique and aesthetically pleasing. The line of shibori clothing from 3×1 certainly did well for obvious reasons.