Japan Trip-Indigo Dyeing Workshop-The work begins

Each morning Bryan started the day with a lesson in Japanese art, culture, dyeing and fashion. He referred to his extensive collection of books and reference materials and then gave us that day's assignment and scheduled the day's dyeing activities.

In order to understand the concept of Japanese dyeing, we needed to know that most dyeing developed as a way to color and adorn fabric for kimonos, which means "thing to wear". It is the representative of polite and formal clothing. A kimono is a t-shaped, straight lined robe worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. It is wrapped around the body, always left side over right and secured by a sash called an obi. Kimonos are traditionally made from a single bolt of fabric called a "tan", about 14 inches wide and 38 feet long. While we did not make a kimono, we did get to visit a kimono cloth dyer who is also a Japanese national living treasure. We will do an entire posting on our day long visit to this remarkable man. This is Bryan showing off one of his collection of antique pieces of Japanese cloth.

Bryan always demonstrated the techniques we would be doing and then we would work on our fabrics.

David is trying his hand at the folding technique Bryan just demonstrated.

We never got bored and always had plenty to work on. Even on the days it rained and we could not go outside to play, we worked indoors. Here Caroline read from "The Tao of Pooh" while we worked on one of our stitching projects.

Until next time,
Debbie and David

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