Walk into Chiharu’s indigo dyeing studio, and you’ll be greeted by the master dyer herself – likely sporting oversized black rain boots and indigo stained hands and clothes. If her attire doesn’t give it away, one look at Chiharu effortlessly folding origami-like shapes, clamping wood plates, submerging cloths in one vat of indigo or solvent after another, and you know she is a true master.
She doesn’t follow dye recipes or patterns – after 30 years in the craft, it now comes natural to her. In fact, while most indigo dyers wear gloves, Chiharu prefers to use her bare hands. That way, she can feel the condition of the indigo vats and know by the temperature and consistency what hue it will yield. (Don’t worry, the indigo washes off with a little soap…).
There aren’t many traditional indigo dyers like Chiharu left in Japan – most of the indigo industry has traded the all natural dyes and hand-dyeing methods for faster, more mechanized approaches. Chiharu is committed to preserving the integrity and character of this ancient art, and with this collection of indigo textiles, we’re proud to partner with her studio in that effort.