After having this book with me for almost a year and opening it multiple times, I finally read it on my way to returning it to the friend who lent it to me! (that happens to me all the time) Luckily, my train ride was super long!
The title of the book is IMPRINTS ON CLOTH and the authors are Sadae and Tomoko Torimaru. It’s filled with pictures, and explanations are bilingual in English and Japanese.
One of my favorite quotes in the book goes like this: “Gaining the skill of dyeing, such as wax-resist painting and shibori, not only gives the Miao a variety of textiles but also fulfillment in their lives.”
With shibori, it takes so much time to make one piece of cloth. I sometimes stop and wonder why we don’t just wear white clothes! or just fully dyed blue clothes! Seeing the intricate details and beauty of the traditional clothing and techniques described in this book though, I could feel that we do this for beauty, as a way to preserve culture, but also simply to feel fulfilled.
I also loved seeing how much thinking and ingenious ideas are put into work for one piece of cloth. All the tools are of course handmade, but also the techniques to treat the cloth, to extract indigo, to make clothes, are really impressive. Life has become so convenient, this part of our brain that can come up with such ideas has become dormant I think… I wonder sometimes if this is not exactly the reason that people become depressed or unhappy, unfulfilled. These tools and ideas are a proof of human ingenuity. The hands, the heart, the soul, the mind, all coming together to make something. awesomeness~~~
I cannot express this well enough and I don’t think I should post pictures of this book here so you will have to check it out yourself!