Recommended Reading: Imprints on Cloth

The last couple of months, I’ve been trying to read and learn more about indigo dyeing processes and how they’re practiced across the world. I found this fantastic book that provides a peek into a small community called the Miao (Guizhou, China) for whom indigo is a way of life!
The book includes basics like indigo dyeing using wood ash to the bizarre like using pig’s blood to create sheen and lustre. I love the way the authors have religiously tried to capture the Miao practices as they are without any filters / opinions. Here’s a short note I wrote on the book for WSN.

World Shibori Network

Imprints on Cloth is a beautiful book that pays tribute to the rich textile traditions of the vibrant Miao people. Tucked away in the serene mountainous province of Guizhou (southwest China), this remarkable community has lived in harmony with nature, using simple and hardy materials from the region to produce breathtaking textiles.


“When you meet one hundred Miao people, you will see one hundred types of traditional costumes” – a local Chinese saying.

The Miao are dispersed across Guizhou with each group specializing in its own unique textiles using shibori, wax resist or stitch resist techniques. But when one looks closely, it’s hard to miss the indigo, a common thread that connects them all together.

The authors of the book, Sadae and Tomoko Torimaru spent 18 years with the Miao in an effort to understand their culture through the lens of textile traditions. The mother and daughter duo ensured they…

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5 responses to “Recommended Reading: Imprints on Cloth

    • I know! Perhaps you can tell if there are communities in India that use indigo for ethnic attire? I can’t remember a single one! Definitely there are a lot of similarities in pattern + detailing, at least compared to the North East folk attire. And don’t worry – all my books can be borrowed once I get back 🙂 Btw, I stopped buying fiction. Dedicating all resources to buying these books… have about 10 books so far on Japanese textiles + philosophies, indigo and shibori!!


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