Traditional techniques applied to fish skin: persimmon and katazome indigo dyeing

Location: Japan

Researcher Elisa Palomino carried on her studies on Indigo dyeing and persimmon dyeing at the Fujino mountains with indigo master Takayuki Ishii. She tried several indigo dying techniques and learnt how to create her own mulberry paper stencils. Elisa used both her newly created stencils and her vintage katazome stencils to print the glutinous rice resist paste by dipping into Takayuki Ishii’s indigo vats. He taught Elisa the whole sukumo indigo process with indigo plants cultivated in his own plot nearby.

These experiments demonstrated the suitability of the shibori dyeing technique and traditional persimmon dyeing with the juice of green persimmons on the fish skins. While the pine smoke dyeing made the fish skins too stiff, and therefore is not recommended as a natural dying alternative for fish skins.