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Caring for Your Harite and Shinshi


by John Marshall


harite and shinshi

Dyes in katazome are applied to the yardage over a water-soluble rice paste resist. For this reason the dyes must be applied cold–most often by brush–otherwise you risk having the paste dissolve away from the fabric long before desired.


I prefer using natural dyes. You may also use synthetic dyes with katazome techniques, but I won’t be covering them here.


The dyes I use fall into two major categories, juice dyes and pigment dyes. The juice dyes are brewed up from a variety of plant sources, along with a couple of varieties of insects. The juice dyes will almost always have a mordant added to help enrich the color. Pigments may be derived from plants, insects, or minerals, and once prepared do not need a mordant added – however, they do need a binder to hold them to the fiber. The binder I prefer is soymilk.


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