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The Making of Natsukashii

08 May 2024
The Making of Natsukashii
In honor of AAPI heritage month, we’re featuring our Natsukashii collection, created using the traditional Japanese dye-resist method of shibori. The word “natsukashii” means happy nostalgia, evoking feelings of reminiscing and togetherness—perfect for this timeless, traditional technique.
A designer shows off her work

The design team at Astek worked together during an on-site art session, learning the traditional technique. Shibori comes from the verb shiboru, which means to wring, squeeze, or press. In this process, fabric is bunched, rolled, or folded, and then held in place using string or pressed between two pieces of wood and clamped. Similar to tie-dyeing, any part of the fabric that is exposed will receive dye, and any part that is hidden away inside the folds will retain its original color. 

Clamps on fabric used to create a shibori designWe used a blue dye for our fabric, since shibori traditionally uses indigo dye for it’s characteristic blue color. Depending on how the fabric is folded, different patterns will appear – sometimes unpredictably. Our designers learned through trial and error, creating many beautiful patterns in the process!

Shibori designs drying

These dyed fabrics were then scanned and turned into seamlessly-repeating wallpaper patterns to be printed digitally. The resulting collection is a perfect fusion of traditional dyeing techniques with modern printing methods. These wallpaper patterns are airy and light, laidback with a with a unique handmade charm.

Final Natsukashii design on wallcovering

We look back fondly on this afternoon of creating artwork with our team, and we hope this collection brings some peace and natsukashii to your home. View the collection here.

Final Natsukashii design installed in a room