Friday, August 10, 2018

How it's Made: Sublime Shibori Scarves by Cathayana


Tactile tucks of lightweight silk help you float through the day looking absolutely fabulous. 

You may be familiar with the shibori method of fabric dyeing that is having a moment in the fashion scene.  However, you likely have yet to experience the truly artful execution of the technique by Min Chiu for her Cathayana line of textiles. Min's playful patterns and combinations of colors elevate this traditional craft, taking it from admirable to exceptional.

Min (left) and an associate in her studio

Shibori is a resistance-dye technique that has its origins in Japan around the 8th century, but Min makes it modern in her Midwestern studio near Troy, Michigan. A single piece of silk is hand-dyed with a background color and then hand-pleated. The pleats leave a pattern in the resistance. This pattern is then overlaid with additional hand painting to attain a richer, more complex polychromy. 


According to Min, she derives inspiration primarily from natural phenomena such as sunrises over lakes in China, her country of birth, and sunsets in Sedona, Arizona. These sources are definitely discernable in her designs.
  



As a final step, the colors, pleats and pattern are heat-fixed, to ensure the textile maintains is vibrant, textured integrity.  We think you'll agree: each is like a carefully composed canvas, awash in color and movement. 

Go ahead, make your own day and explore our assortment of Cathayana textiles:
 

https://shop.artic.edu/browse.aspx?catID=3#!/products/c/3/t/2?sort=2

To view our entire assortment of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online: https://shop.artic.edu

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.




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