In Zoucheng, our lovely guide took us to visit 3 families who were producing zha-ran, or stitch-resist tie-dye. Her English was minimal, so I wasn’t able to ask much about the process. However, I share my photos and observations for those of you who have an interest in the process.
Wet processes and drying racks were scattered around household courtyards, with large indigo-stained vats much in evidence.
Stitching, gathering and binding the designs. The gathered and bound areas will resist the dye and so remain white after dyeing.
Design stitched and gathered tightly:
Leaves of the indigo plant are fermented to create the dye.
Some kind of boiler or warmer:
The bound fabric after dyeing in indigo:
I’m guessing this is for spinning out excess water?
Some pieces, such as table cloths, had machine-stitched couched outlines added in white to accentuate parts of the design:
See more completed pieces at Zhoucheng: Zha-ran Tie-dye