Transforming Shibori: Jun Nakamura

design by Jun Nakamura
Skirt by Jun Nakamura with JUNNA shibori, makeup by Azzurra Bonaldo, direction by Riccardo Rubino, model: Raihanna Thompson.

Tokyo — Jun Nakamura uses shibori in a new way to shape his strikingly colorful garments. Nakamuri, originally from Uji south of Kyoto, grew up in a family-run kimono business, and has trained in the traditional Japanese shibori techniques.

Shibori, which uses threads and folding of fabric [usually silk] to create unique “tye-dyed” patterns, originated in Japan, then spread, due to economic pressures, to Korea and later China. Today, shibori is produced worldwide, but differs significantly from the old-style traditional Japanese shibori which uses specialized tools and expertise not found elsewhere.  Nakamura does not himself do any dying, but uses the traditional stitching and folding techniques on previously dyed fabric to create new textures and looks and means of draping for his clothing designs.  Nakamura says that he originally sought to use shibori to eliminate darts in his designs for women’s garments, but quickly found that the creation of new textures was interesting enough in and of itself.

Nakamura’s approach and looks have begun to influence other designers as the race to get ever more intricate textures with richly layered multi-colored looks has continued to sweep the international fashion scene. Many of those influenced are not even aware of the shibori sources or Nakamura’s original role in this trend. For Nakamura, the ever-widening exploitation of his technique within his own work remains his primary focus.

One of the aspects of traditional Japanese-style shibori technique that appeals to Nakamura is that it provides an extremely ecologically-conscious production stream with exceptionally little waste along with efficient use of resources.


For more information on Jun Nakamura and his use of shibori see Rhonda P. Hill,  Preserving the Art of Shibori: EDGE Talks to Jun Nakamura.