Karen Barbé Workshops

24 Apr 2016

Natural dyes – Kyoto

Last week my friend Hiromi and I made a short trip to visit a traditional onsen spa located in rural Kyoto. The bath, the view of the place and the chance to learn about natural dying made up for the long bus trip into the mountain which was a bit of a nightmare to me (I get sick easily with motion).

We dyed cotton and silk samples using indigo leaves (blue), plant roots (red), tree bark (brown) and leaves (yellow) from the area. Did you know that natural dyes had an important role in clothes? Garments dyed with indigo protected farmers from insects while a red piece of cloth worn by ninja was dyed with plant roots as it had healing properties in case of being wounded.


La semana pasada con mi amiga Hiromi nos escapamos para ir a unos baños tradicionales japoneses en las afueras de Kyoto. El baño, la vista del lugar y la suerte que tuvimos de aprender sobre teñidos con tintes naturales compensaron totalmente la pesadilla que fue para mí el largo viaje en bus hacia la montaña (me mareo fácilmente).

Teñimos muestras de algodón y seda con hojas de índigo (azul), raíces (rojo), corteza de árbol (café) y hojas (amarillo) del área. ¿Sabías que los tintes naturales tenían un rol importante en la ropa? Las prendas teñidas con índigo protegían a los campesinos de los insectos mientras que el pañuelo de tela roja que ocupaban los ninja estaba teñido con raíces de plantas ya que tenía propiedades curativas en caso de ser herido.


Raúl Prado said...

Bien logradas fotos dan un marco adecuado al ambiente muy a tono con el tema, el cual resulta ser interesantísimo, una nota cultural acerca de milenarias costumbres.

Un post redondito, por lo menos para los legos en la materia. ¡Felicitaciones!

Unknown said...

Wonderful blog! Super-enjoy reading it! :) You were asking for suggestions of where to go :) We've been on a trip to Japan last June and we were impressed by a local Kyoto clothing brand called Sou Sou. They have a number of well-edited designer boutiques in downtown Kyoto and they create modern clothes and accessories inspired by traditional Japanese techniques. Also they host a mini-tea ceremony in basement of one of their stores (very affordable and atmospheric) and their book has a ton of print inspiration! Highly recommend to check them out as someone with a deep love for unique textiles and "old history meets modern day" type designs ;) It's in the neighborhood near Nishiki fish market and there are some nice ramen shops and such which doesn't hurt :) Hope you have time for this! Enjoy your trip! Take care, Liliana