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by John Marshall


Dyes are applied to fabric stretched on harite and shinshi to create a taut surface upon which to work. Two categories of brushes are used to apply colors in katazome jizomebake, used to apply large washes of color, and surikomibake, used for detail work.


▶︎The jizomebake should be held as shown in image one. Use your torso as well as your full arm and wrist during the process. Work quickly. Do not over-saturate the fabric. This process is known as jizome.


▶︎Surikomibake are held perpendicular to the surface of the fabric and the dyes are ground into the weave. This process is called irosashi. Work in a tight circular fashion and shade into adjacent colors as the brush loses dye and becomes dry.


▶︎Allow each color and each coat to dry completely between applications.


▶︎Plan for an average of three coats of dye for each color to build up depth and quality.


▶︎Once you are satisfied with your balance and intensity of color you are ready to add what are called kumadori, or accents. Kumadori are most often dark or intense colors. They are used initially to hide mistakes – if you have been a little sloppy, or if there is a drip or an undesirable spot here or there, use the kumadori to mask the mistake.


▶︎Once you have brought all the undesirables back into harmony with the rest of the design, stand back and take a look at the whole piece. Have the kumadori created an imbalance of color? Does it make your pattern feel too weighty in some areas? If so, add more accents to the rest of the design to even out the weight. Correct use of kumadori will add quite a bit of life to any piece.

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