We believe in crafting with our hands. Each creation is a labour of love.
Indigo is a natural dye obtained from various species of indigofera. It has been commonly used to dye fabric blue since the third millennium BC. Although the indigo dye is one of the most famous and popular natural dyes used around the world, Mai Textile Studio sources our indigo dye primarily from Japan.
Once our fabrics have been prepared, they are dipped into the indigo vat. The fabric may be dipped multiple times to create various shades of indigo ranging from the lightest sky blue to the deepest and darkest navy. One may find it interesting to know that the fabric initially appears green when it is first taken out of the vat. The subsequent oxidization process then changes the colour of the fabric from green to blue.
Shibori is a traditional technique that creates different patterns on textiles by forming the fabric into various 3-dimensional shape and securing it to create a resist before dyeing.
At Mai Textile Studio, we use various techniques of shibori to craft different patterns and designs:
An element of surprise is always present due to the nature of shibori. This is because the tightness of the knot can affect the pattern and designs we get after the dyeing process. As a result, each piece we create is uniquely one of a kind.
Katazome is a traditional stenciling technique that creates patterns by applying a paste mixture of rice flour and rice bran through a hand cut stencil before dyeing. The paste serves as a resist to the dye when it is dried. In contrast to the shibori which creates a soft blurry edge pattern, katazome creates a sharper and clearer pattern on the fabric.
At our studio, we design and hand cut all of our stencils because we firmly believe in bringing you that human touch in each and every piece we create. We also believe in upholding and continuing the traditional method to keep this craft alive for generations to come. While this is a tedious and time-consuming process, we would not have it any other way.