Suzusan – Bringing The Ancient Art of Shibori Into Today
By Samuel Trotman

WGSN takes a look at the stunning work of Hiroshi Murase, creative director of Suzusan, and 4th generation of a Shibori-making family.

Feb 12, 2014
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We explore the stunning work of Hiroshi Murase, who is creative director of Suzusan (the Japanese fashion design brand which is handmade in Japan).

Take a look back a few years and the term Shibori would be virtually unknown to many western designers, but over the past two seasons, the ancient Japanese resist-dyeing technique has hit the mainstream within fashion and beyond. From denim labels to international runways and even interior design, the traditional craft has been picked up by a swathe of designers and brands looking to breathe new life into the craft.

It is known to be one of the oldest indigo dyeing techniques in Japan, spanning centuries back on the island state. The technique of Shibori involves twisting, tying, crumpling, stitching or folding fabric — usually silk or cotton — in various ways (see our detailed write-up here). This sculptural shape is then traditionally dyed, originally using indigo, and when the wrappings are removed they reveal the beautiful crinkled textures and patterns.

The work of Hiroyuki Murase exemplifies the purist form of the craft, as well as the bridge between traditional and new. Murase grew up in Arimatsu, Japan, where Shibori has been practiced using traditional techniques for 400 years. The veins of Murase’s family run deep with indigo too – his ancestors founded the Suzusan business there over a century ago, and he is the 4th generation to be practicing the art today.

Hiroyuki was able to transfer his family’s cultural meaning into a modern European context, setting up his own product line under the same alias in Düsseldorf, Germany. Today, Murase’s array of Luminaires lampshades and haute couture fabrics, designed for the likes of Junya Watanabe, Calvin Klein and Issey Miyake, showcase the most progressive approach to modern Shibori.

After meeting him at his live workshop at Denim by PV in Paris last November, Hiroyuki provided us with this intimate video that gives a up-close-and-personal look at the process of Shibori in his hometown of Arimatsu, Japan.

Interested in finding out more? Head over to the Suzusan page where you can read further into the craft and his work.

Like what you just read? Follow Samuel on Instagram for the latest indigo inspiration and denim news.

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