Shibori is all about the process. The Shibori artisans divide up the labor of producing beautiful cloth. Each studio plays a part as well as each person. The cloth is first tied into a variety of designs which is usually done by women. It is a long tedious process but the women have been doing it for so many years that their fingers fly when knotting. If it is an arashi piece (pole wrapping), it is usually done by men and often with women to help them push the cloth down the long poles. If the work is to be clamped, the folding is done by a woman and clamped into place by a man.
If it a wearable piece, it might stop in the process to be stenciled (katazome) by a very skilled artisan who designs and cuts the stencils or by a Yuzen artist who may use stencils and color to adorn a Kimono.
After this process, the piece goes to the dyer’s studio where it is washed, dyed, and rinsed (rinsing was usually done in the rivers, but no longer) in a long troughs of water. It is then dried.
This is of course a brief description. There are many other steps depending on the use of the article. Each artisan is known for their own designs and processes, and they are closely guarded secrets. The majority of older artisans build their own equipment often made of wood. The tools are simple but many have changed to more manufactured tools.
I was able to watch each of these processes and it is very humbling. The work is hard and requires skills to master.
Follow link to my website: lynnebrotmanfiberart.com to see samples of the Shibori pieces I made in Japan.