shiori mukai block print overshirt eleven
The three-week run of our Artist Series is coming to an end…..but not without a bang.
The third artist being featured for our SS22 Sillage Artist Series is none other than Shiori Mukai, a local Japanese block printer whose artistic roots go back to India, a country that’s been regarded for thousands of years for perfecting the art of dyeing and block printing fabric.
Shiori Mukai, the mastermind behind Shiori Mukai Textiles, first began studying textiles in Katch, west India in 2015, before transferring to Musashino Art University in Japan to specialize in the study of textiles.
Since then Shiori has grown enormously as an artist and creator, specializing in the use of natural dyes while separating herself from the rest of the block printing world with an original process she came up with for herself. This special process consists of many different parts, one of the most important being the unique techniques she employs while block printing (including rubbing, bleeding, and directly using wood grain directly on the fabric), which allows her work to explore new possibilities within a well-established ancient art.
When my partner and I first stumbled upon her and saw the beauty and ingenuity of her work we knew we had to work with Shiori one day, and with the latest run of our Artist Series it was the perfect opportunity to do so.
After we sat down with Shiori to discuss our collaborative project and the vision for it, she quickly came up with the following natural dye combinations: she decided to use alum, pomegranate, and madder for any brown or “brownish” hues, iron for any monochrome colors, and indigo for the color blue.
Once she had finally determined what natural dyes to use, as well as what overall block printing patterns to use, Shiori then put the garments to work through her completely original process :
Each piece is dyed, washed, uniquely block printed, washed, dyed, washed, and dyed again, all by hand. Because each piece is put through the painstaking process of multiple dyes and washes by hand, the process itself can become extremely difficult and tiresome, but it also results in incredibly complex organic color palettes unlike anything else in the market, as well as an illusion of continuity within the block print pattern itself (although when closely examined slight variations can be seen all throughout the pattern, something unseen in prints done in bulk, or mechanically produced prints).
For the final result, Shiori was able to produce 10 wholly unique patterns for this collection. However, because of the level of intimacy involved in her signature process, only a single shirt was produced per pattern, resulting in a small collection of just 10 short sleeve overshirts in total.
No two patterns are alike, making each piece a true 1 of 1. A true work of art.
染料はそれぞれ ミロバラン,ミョウバン,鉄, 藍, 茜 , 柘榴 を使用してます。