Fresh Indigo leaf dyeing – 藍の生葉染め

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A few weeks back I was in Joshibi giving my second guest lecture. This time I was less nervous and really enjoyed sharing my experience with the students. After my lecture, I sneaked into the silkscreen/dyeing lab to take some pictures. My professor invited me to join one of their graduate classes where they were dyeing silk stoles with fresh Japanese indigo leaves (Ai).

Aizome, also known as indigo dyeing, is usually done with fermented leaves and the color is normally a dark indigo blue. With fresh leaves, it’s fascinating how different and vibrant the color is. Indigo leaves are rare and precious in Japan so I felt fortunate to be able to touch and dye with the fresh leaves. We blended the leaves in a juice mixer, extracted the dye with a netted bag and soaked our silk cloths in the dye for about 20 minutes. It was magical seeing how the color turned from leafy green to turquoise as it comes in contact with air and oxidizes.

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Love the color!

Joshibi Festival!

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Joshibi Festival starts today at the Higashi-Koenji Campus. This is a 3-day open campus art event organized by Joshibi University of Art and Design. If you are interested in studying Textile design in Tokyo, I would highly recommend this school as it is has great facilities – silkscreen/dyeing lab, foot-loom weaving lab and electric Jacquard machine. Also, you get to learn all about Japanese traditional crafts and how to apply them to modern products. Here are some of the pictures of the school environment. Have a great weekend!

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