Daigo Adachi uses clamp dyeing (Itajime Shibori*) techniques to create unique pieces of textile art. He explores new possibilities with clamp dyeing and blurring effects (nijimi), making everyday items with cloth and fabric patterned in this way. Traditional Japanese clamp dyeing techniques are rarely used these days, but he is interested in reviving them, adding his own interpretations and ideas along the way.
*Itajime Shibori (a type of cramp dyeing / shibori) was popular during the Edo period (1603-1867), but is rarely used these days.


Clamp dyeing and brush dyeing techniques add geometrical patterns and natural blurring to the cloth. The artist uses the same techniques each time, but each item has subtle differences, totally unlike a printed fabric. One way in which these unique patterns can be enjoyed is as a clutch bag. This piece was conceived as a “carrying canvas”.


Simple process produces unique patterns

The clamp dying process is simple. The cloth is folded concertina-style, then folded into triangles or squares. Wood blocks are placed on either side. The cloth can either be soaked in a bowl with dye in it, or a brush can be used to dye the cloth. Unfolding the dyed cloth reveals a series of blurred patterns with subtle differences, with each pattern unique.

Clamp dyeing design sense

Mr. Adachi's textile products is dyed more than once. After the cloth is dry, he then folds it in a different way, and use a different color dye or hot water, to create a unique fabric. Different patterns emerge from his various combinations of folding and dye colors. His creations are the culmination of studying the relationship between colors, patterns, dyes and fabrics.
Note: The patterns blur in a slightly different way each time. This subtle difference are part of handicrafts' charm and a sign of their uniqueness.

  • These are his tools of his craftsmanship: dyes, brushes and design notebooks. He records every detail in his notebooks: the blending ratio used in different dyes, how many times a fabric is dyed, and the results of numerous trials and experiments – all of these are noted down.

  • This picture shows him folding the cloth ready for a second dye. To add to the design’s complexity, he uses a different folding pattern the second time round.

  • After the cloth is dyed, he dries it and steams it. This process fixes the color to the cloth. He then washes away any surplus dye.