Indigo, nicknamed Japan Blue, is an important color in Japanese culture. This is why I decided to visit Wanariya, a shop that allows visitors to make their own Japan Blue items! (If you want to know more about Japan Blue, read our article: 4 important colors in Japanese culture). Follow me through each step of the making as if you were there!
This is what a t-shirt dyed using aizome (the Japan blue dying method) looks like. Will I really be able to make a handkerchief looking like that?!
The lecturer has just handed me me a white handkerchief, marbles, rubber bands and some plastic film!
This looks very funny but I have no idea what can be done with these…
According to my lecturer, I will have to use the previous items to make patterns on the handkerchief. This way of dying is called ‘shiborizome‘, which means ‘tie-dye’.
Apparently, it’s the easiest way to creatively dye clothes.
I have decided what patterns to make, but will it work with this messed up handkerchief?
Anyway, let’s dye it now!
What, just water?!
I’m told that before dying a cloth, you must soak it in water to fix the color well.
This is the indigo dye.
Each bucket of dye achieves a different level of darkness by adding different amounts of indigo powder.
I’m actually dying it now.
Wow, it’s been just a few minutes, but the color is already fixed.
(I have to wear gloves so I won’t dye my fingers.)
Now that I have I spread the cloth, I must wait for 3 minutes so that the indigo bonds with oxygen and becomes blue.
After 3 minutes, I will have to dye it again.
The more you dye, the more the color fixes in with a stronger bond.
Now I’m washing the cloth neatly so that the indigo color won’t stain other clothes.
The handkerchief is of a pretty blue now!
Now I’m taking off the marbles, rubber bands, and plastic wrap.
I wonder what the patterns will be like… I’m so excited!
This is the handkerchief I made!
I can’t believe I actually made it. The patterns look pretty nice even though it didn’t take much time.
In this class you can also dye t-shirts and bags.
There are also other types of dying patterns available, such as letters and pictures.
This shop was created by young people who are passionate to take over the traditional aizome for future generations. They even cultivate the indigo plant themselves!
I definitely recommend their shop for a unique experience!
Kurosawa Building1F 1-8-10 Senzoku, Tatio-ku, Tokyo