KARACHI: With bold and vibrant prints dominating the market, it is no surprise that the art of tie-and-dye has also begun to resurface in Pakistan. Using Shibori, a Japanese method of dying cloth, Erum Fatimah has designed a unique collection of bags, clutches and scarves. She held an exhibition for her first accessories collection on Saturday at the Alliance Francaise de Karachi in Clifton.
Fatimah graduated from the Textile Institute of Pakistan in 2010 with a degree in textile design. The innovative 24-year-old began designing Shibori bags as a part of a thesis project two years ago and soon developed a passion for this Japanese technique. Although Fatimah’s work bears a heavy Japanese influence, her main inspiration lies in the work of 20th century American painter and famous abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.
To create pieces for her collection, Fatimah used three types of Shibori; Arashi, pole-wrapping Shibori, Nui, stitched Shibori and Itajime .
The collection, which took six months to prepare, featured bags, clutches and scarves produced by the incorporation of different colour tones. In order to keep the charm of her fabrics intact, Fatimah said she only worked with genuine colours.
Amongst those present at the exhibition, many applauded Fatimah’s efforts to bring the art of tie-and-dye back to Pakistan. An avid Shibori bag collector and Fatimah’s former colleague, Sylvie Hennequin expressed her love for Fatimah’s work.
“This is trendy stuff. I love this collection mainly because of the colours, affordability, style and simple leanings,” Hennequin explained.
Although the exhibition aimed to pull in prospective buyers and spread awareness about the Shibori art form, the Pakistani public is still not convinced. While Fatimah’s work is gaining popularity abroad, especially in India, it is still not completely accepted in Pakistan.
“I am making people understand what Shibori is. I have started receiving online orders from abroad on Facebook, so through Facebook I am struggling to make people understand what these bags are all about,” Fatimah said.
The exhibition continues till Wednesday evening.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2012.