The first step is to background dye the pre-made furoshiki. For this project I am working with pre-hemmed, white, 100% cotton furoshiki that I bought from Tanaka Nao Senryoten, a specialist dye store in Kyoto, Japan.
Below is an image of the white furoshiki stretched with shinshi (bamboo sticks with small needles at either end used for stretching fabric and holding it taut during the dyeing process), ready for background dyeing.
As I did not want the background for this paticular furoshiki series to be white, it is necessary to pre-dye and fix the background colour before I can start the katazome process.
Working with Remazol dyes, I colour mixed and significantly watered down 3% strength dye solutions to create this range of colours.
With the dyes mixed and the recipes for these colours ready to go, I was ready to mix larger quantities and background dye a few furoshiki with the beautifully soft, large brush that you can see in the bottom left corner of the first image.
Prior to dyeing, the furoshiki were washed in hot water to pre-shrink them (being made from a natural fibre) and to remove any traces of sizing.
|Soft mint green dye mixture - made and ready to use|
|Four furoshiki freshly dyed and drying|
|Hastening the drying process just a little|
Once the background colour was completely dry I used a liquid fixative (sodium silicate solution) to fix the colour before washing thoroughly and drying again.
|Four furoshiki background dyed, fixed and washed|
And the final step in this stage of the process is to wash the shinshi before their next use to avoid cross contamination with any residual dye. The shinshi are placed in boiling water for 30 minutes at either end to remove any dye that seeped into the bamboo.
|Shinshi boiling in a large pot|