Mardley-zome

Colorful patterns created by a blend of dots and lines.

By Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Mardley-zome

“Mardley-zome” is a dyeing technique in which varied patterns are created through stirring colored pastes. 

Mardley-zome 「Made in Japan:日本の匠」 (2016) by Kawahara RyotaroKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Scarf, Mardley-zome, 2016, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Yuzen-dyer, the Hibino FamilyKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

By applying the special technique of ladling used in suminagashi dyeing which was developed in the Meiji period (1868-1912), the art of transferring marbled paste dyes onto fabric was born in the Taishō period (1912-26). 

Kimono, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Using various tools and methods of stirring creates an infinite variety of pattern variations.

Dress, Mardley-zome (2016) by Kawamura SayuriKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

The lines flow naturally, delicately mixing into a fusion of colors that has a unique appeal not found in other dye methods.

Tools for Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Tools

Tools are used according to the desired outcome, such as comb, bow, brush, rake or a stick to stir the iro-nori (dye paste).

Preparing the dye paste, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Preparing
the dye paste

The dye is mixed with Yuzen-nori (paste) made from starch, rice barn, and salt then the viscosity is adjusted to each color; the jiiro-nori (base color paste) for the dominate color and sashiiro-nori (enhancing color paste) for varieties of contrasting colors.

Jiironori-oki (applying the base color), Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Jiironori-oki
(applying the base color)

First the base colour, jiiro-nori is spread evenly over a wooden board with a flat squeegee. The thickness and viscosity of the paste is adjusted according to the desired pattern. 

Sashiironori-oki (applying the enhancing colors), Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Sashiironori-oki
(applying the enhancing colors)

The main sashiiro-nori is applied first, and then the color(s) used as accents applied on top of the prepared jiiro-nori. The amount of each color paste is adjusted to the pattern.

Stirring the color paste, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Stirring
the color past

Tools such as comb, bow, or rake-like implements are used to stir the colorful dye pastes so that they swirl together and form various patterns. 

Transferring the colors onto the fabric, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Transferring
the colors onto the fabric 

When the desired patterns are completed, fabric is laid carefully on top of the dye paste, so that the colors adhere to the fabric.

Applying sawdust, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Applying
sawdust 

Once the pattern is transferred onto the fabric, the fabric is carefully removed from the board. Then sawdust is applied evenly over both sides of the fabric.

Steaming process, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Steaming

With the sawdust still applied, the fabric is steamed. Extra attention must be made so that the paste doesn’t touch each other.

Rinsing with water, Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Rinsing with water 

The stunning patterns of organic lines surface when the sawdust and paste are rinsed away in running water.

Finishing process, Mardley-zome (2016)Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Finishing

Heating the dry cloth makes it easier to shape the garment when tailoring and enriches the texture.    

Tailoring process, Mardley-zome (2016) by Kawamura SayuriKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Tailoring

The fabric is then cut and tailored according to the design to complete the dress.   

Kaigara (shells), Mardley-zomeKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Pattern
Variations

The patterns, such as kuzaku (peacocks), kanze-mizu (water waves), yagasuri (arrowheads), shibori (tie-dye), tachidaki (waterfall), kaigara (shells), are created during the procedure by the placement of the sashiiro-nori and by the method of stirring. 

Kanze-mizu (water waves), Mardley-zome, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Shimadan (layered stripes), Mardley-zome, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Suminagashi (marbling), Mardley-zome, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Kuzaku (peacocks), Mardley-zome, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Wakusei (planet), Mardley-zome, From the collection of: Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory
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Umbrella, Mardley-zome (2016)Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Future
Possibilities

“Mardley-zome” can achieve infinite patterns using special tools to intersect dots and lines of various colours creating natural movement. Beyond the use for Kimono’s and small accessories, the technique seeks possibilities in a wide range of fields, such as western garments and home decor.

Stool, Mardley-zome (2016)Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Lamp shade, Mardlay-zome (2016)Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Sensu (Fan), Mardley-zome (2015)Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Dress, Mardley-zome (2016) by Kawamura SayuriKyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

Credits: Story

Information and images provided by:
MARDLEY Co., Ltd.

Supervision & text:
Hibino Jumpei

Movie:
Kawahara Ryotaro (Ritsumeikan University)

Supported by:
Dr. Aoki Mihoko (Kyoto Women's University)
Kawamura Sayuri (Kyoto Women's University Faculty of Home Economics Department of Apparel and Space Design)

Exhibition created by:
Sugishima Tsubasa (Kyoto Women's University Faculty of Home Economics Department of Apparel and Space Design)

English translation:
Miyo Kurosaki Bethe

English editor:
Melissa M. Rinne (Kyoto National Museum)

Project Directors:
Dr. Shinya Maezaki (Kyoto Women's University)
Dr. Masako Yamamoto (Ritsumeikan University)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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