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Explore Japanese Textiles at Craft Central

Visit Craft Central for an exploration of Japanese Textiles in their magnificent converted 1860's Forge, open for the first time for London Craft Week, from the 9th - 12th of May, 2018. 

Saori Weaving is an intuitive style of hand weaving developed in Japan in the late Sixties to enable weavers to create unique pieces of cloth, play with colour and texture and weave in an expressive way. Erna Janine has been involved with natural textiles for over 20 years, and studied hand spinning with animal and plant fibres, botanical dyes and Viking age textile construction: warp-weighted looms, tablet weaving, nonbinding, etc., at the Icelandic College for Traditional Handcrafts in Reykjavik.

A free drop-in demonstration session on Thursday, 10th of May (from 12-5pm) will give visitors an insight and perhaps first introduction to Saori Weaving. Erna will be demonstrating two-shaft weaving and have several easy-to-use floor looms set up for visitors to sit and try their hand at weaving, along with many yarns and other textile materials to choose from. She will be also discussing the philosophy behind this “mindful weaving”. Erna will also be running an 'Introductory to Saori' Workshop on Saturday, 12th of May (from 10am-12.30pm) at £65 per person. Participants will create their own piece of cloth to take home and use as a scarf, table runner or wall hanging. Booking essential.

'Shibori' is the ancient Japanese art of resist dyeing; binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing cloth before dyeing to form very different patterns. Rob Jones, of Robor Designs, discovered Shibori at West Dean College, before going on to study in Japan under indigo guru Bryan Whitehead. Rob’s passion is in finding the new in the old, building on the tradition and centuries of skill that Shibori has behind it. He takes the work in new directions by combining techniques and inventing his own forms.

Rob will be giving a brief introduction to Shibori in a drop-in demonstration on Thursday, 10th of May (from 12-5pm). He will talk about its history and current use, and this will be followed by teaching some of the basic techniques: the basic kamosage knot used to secure all bound work and how to make the kumo (spiderweb), bai (seashell), and tesugi (stripes) patterns using binding. Visitors will be able to make up a small sample of their own, dye it in the indigo vat and unpick a pre-dyed indigo sample to reveal one of the various patterns presented. He will be working on a larger piece throughtout the course of the day and inviting attendees to add their own work to it using one of the techniques shown.

Rob will also be running a Shibori - Itajime Dyeng Workshop on Thursday, 10th of May (from 6.30pm-9.00pm), at £47.75 per person. This workshop will teach the three basic folding techniques for preparing fabric for clamp resist dyeing, known as 'Kikko': equilateral triangles, right angle triangles and squares, and these can be varied in many ways to achieve different effects. Booking essential.

For more information and bookings, visit: