Shibori, a time-honoured fabric-dying technique that dates back to eighth-century Japan, has been experiencing a renaissance, popping up on everything from sofas to soap dishes.
The interior trend sparked almost a year ago, following Stella McCartney's shibori-inspired collection for winter, 2014, and has been slowly picking up steam – and mass appeal.
"Recently the style has trickled down to more-affordable brands and I've been seeing a lot of shibori pillows, rugs and even bathroom accessories," Toronto-based designer Montana Labelle says.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Shibori prints, which are traditionally done in shades of indigo and navy, are created using a tie-dye-like method involving a series of binding, folding or pleating. There are a number of distinct prints, including arashi, created by wrapping the cloth around a pipe; itajime, which involves simple folding; and kumo, which is done by wrapping and tying sections of fabric with rags.
Despite the precision with which shibori can be done, there’s always a bit of handmade imperfection, which adds a unique charm to a cushion or carpet.
Don’t think a modern tie-dye is very versatile? Labelle disagrees. “While it adds great pattern to many spaces, it’s still relatively neutral in its overall colouring,” she says. “I think the modern take on tie-dye is tremendously appealing to both designers and consumers.”
And although there’s an inherently breezy quality to shibori, not all pieces need to feel summery. Those very saturated indigo prints can definitely be dramatic and right at home in your living room in the dead of winter too.
Now is a great time to invest in that piece you’ve been pining for. “This trend is definitely here to stay,” Labelle says.