Itajime: Reaching for the moon

Yesterday was an afternoon of experimentation. I tried making ‘moons and stars’ using Itajime, a fold and clamp resist technique.

I like Itajime. I think the geometric design appeals to my left brain, invoking some sense of order and stability. So… taking tips from Lesson 3 of Shibori Girl’s indigo workshop, I assembled my materials –  some solid white linen and muslin, a piece of my sky-dyed fabric and some clamps. For shapes, I used wooden squares and triangles and since I didn’t have circles, I cut some out from old tin cans.


Having worked on Itajime several times before, I thought that I’d be able to nail this quite easily! Of course, I was sadly mistaken. Here’s an image of Shibori Girl’s moons so that you can get an idea of what I was attempting to do.


                                                                    Photo Courtesy : Shibori Girl

And ta-da! Here’s how mine turned out.

My moon

Obviously, my thrifty and ingenious idea to substitute acrylic/wooden circles with tin cut-outs failed miserably. The ridges in the circle allowed the dye to penetrate, creating smudged rings instead of a half moon! Not one to be bogged down by the lack of apparatus or the disappointing result thereof, I set out to achieve the ‘shaded effect’ using a square wooden block instead.

I know it’s not a moon but this result was much better than the first one.

My squareUnfortunately, I wasn’t able to avoid staining on the white parts of the square caused by indigo that rubbed off the wooden block. I guess it pays to wash the wooden block or alternately cover it with tape before reuse.

As for the stars? I was finally able to get one.

My stars

Note to self : Save the sky-dyed fabric for making moons, not stars.



5 responses to “Itajime: Reaching for the moon

  1. I would love to do a moon too, so lets work on it,………….Shibri girl has it wired…………..



  2. Hi Anu,
    I really like your first attempt. It’s a radial gradation – something that would be difficult to do on purpose. Now you have the secret!
    Did your natural indigo vat give dark blue on the first dip?


    • Thanks Joy-Lily!! You’ve always encouraged me me to look at the positives of a ‘mistake’!! This was done using a chem thiox vat. However, I use a far more diluted proportion (than recommended by the manufacturers) to get lighter shades. As for the natural indigo, a higher concentration of indigo does yield a darker blue. But I guess it’s better build to a darker blue through multiple dips as it reduces crocking!!


  3. Pingback: Roketsu-zome: Moonand The Moon-walker | The Indigophile·

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