JUNE – JULY 2018


The 11th International Shibori Symposium (11 ISS) spanned three regions of Japan, connecting the contemporary art and fashion hub of Tōkyō, traditional shibori and design centers in Nagoya, and rural folk traditions in Yonezawa and Yamagata.

The symposium explored their shared legacies of craft and local industry:
紅花 • 藍 • 絞  – Safflower, Indigo, Shibori.



Local Industry

Local industries create foundations for the community and environment upon which we build textile practices. Emphasizing sustainability, regional history, and people and their skills, we showcase the enduring legacy of artisans and craftspeople who support traditions and inspire future generations.

Global Trade

Global economies and trade throughout history have heavily influenced the spread of craft practices, the development of taste and aesthetic, and the innovation of new techniques. We investigate how world regions have shaped each other's textile arts through trade.

Technology & tradition

The tension between technology and tradition has long influenced textile arts. We explore the ways in which evolving technology and textile traditions have interacted, from the development of the Chinese drawloom to Issey Miyake’s design of kinetic fashions to the creation of NASA's solar sails.

Material Transformation

A core identifier of shibori is the transformative process from 2D to 3D which leaves enduring “memories” on cloth. We emphasize the ways in which textile artists transform materials, through folding, fulling, dyeing, coating, stitching, and other creative methods – innovative, imaginative, artistic, and practical.



Visit ten exhibitions specially organized by and for the International Shibori Symposium, plus excursions to museums in all three regions to view craft traditions and contemporary art.

Read More →


Plenary sessions focus on how global and regional trade influences craft, from the spread of resist-dyeing techniques over the Silk Road to sashiko’s origin in the rag trade of the Japanese archipelago.

Workshops & Demonstrations

Enter the fields of Yamagata for early morning safflower gathering and process your harvest into beni-mochi dye cakes. Take focused half-day workshops with artisans in Arimatsu and Yonezawa in their family studios.

Read More →


Call For Entry