• Itajime gasuri: digital warps

      Wells, Kate; University of Derby (World Shibori Network, 31/10/2014)
      Itajime gasuri is a Japanese resist technique, which today is almost extinct but was originally employed to patterned warp yarns by clamping them between two boards engraved in high relief. When the clamped bundle was then immersed in a dye-bath, the dye was unable to penetrate into the areas under pressure and the resulting dyed and finally woven cloth produced an ikat like pattern. A process invented by Tomoshicihi Miura in 1837 to copy and increase production of the labor intensive textile dyeing technique ikat was re-discovered by the highly skilled Craftsman and Japanese weaver Norio Koyama, who in 1996 when visited in Japan was the only remaining craftsperson to still employ on a commercial level, the traditional process of itajime gasuri: the utilization of identically carved wooden boards to resist pattern fabrics. As a silk weaver, Norio Koyama, became interested in the process of itajime gasuri having purchased the last remaining full set of traditional clamping boards. Teaching himself the intricate and precise processes involved with the technique and required to produce lengths of fabric with patterns similar to double 'ikat'. A present of eight old boards to the author enabled the technique to spread to Europe and has enabled further research to be carried out into the processes involved and along side advancements in digital technology provided an opportunity to reinvent the process by employing old or newly digitally machined boards to produce modern versions of such textiles, which when combined with digital technology in the form of image manipulation and digital printing both onto prepared fabric bases and warps prior to weaving has enabled the process to reinvent itself and design qualities achieved with such a technique evolve into a patterning method for the 21st Century. The excitement occurs when a process invented by Tomoshicihi Miura in 1837 to copy and increase textile production of the resist dyeing technique ikat can be once again employed to create textile designs if new Itajime gasuri boards are created with digital manufacturing techniques and digital scanning along side digital printed will once woven produce an ikat effect: A complete cycle of creativity and innovation being achieved.