Behind the Canvas:
Pokopoko – Shibori in Arimatsu
One item for all the occasions, one size for all the
people – story of Pokopoko top/tube.
Poko poko, tsun tsun.
Pokopoko tube and Pokopoko top from the Autumn
Winter 2022 Collection have a distinctive texture.
What do these textures remind you of?
Maybe it reminds you of the summer festivals you went
to when you were little, or the day you wore your first
kimono for the Shichi-Go-San Festival, or the day you
dressed up for your coming-of-age ceremony if you grew
up in Japan, or it could remind you the waffles you eat
in the morning.
The traditional Japanese craft called "shibori" was used
to create this texture.
This craftsmanship is used for kimonos, yukata, obi (the
belt for kimono) and obiage(a clothes tied inside obi).
We visited Arimatsu, Aichi Prefecture, to unravel the
history and culture of shibori, which is said to have
begun in the Edo period (1603-1868).
Since the olden days, shibori, which is made by tying
strings together to create a pattern, has been believed
to bring good luck especially with meeting people, ward
off bad luck, and ensure the safety of the family.
People used to wear shibori kimonos or obiages when
they went to shrine or temple to pray at milestones in
There is a culture of passing down the gorgeous furisode
(long-sleeved kimono) to grandchildren by
grandmothers, and daughters wearing the kimono their
mothers used to wear as their Sunday best. On the
other hand, the shibori fabric has excellent elasticity and
breathability, so the yukatas made by Arimatsu shibori
were used by local people for daily clothes.
Shibori is special but also day to day.
If you wear it on the big day, like a day of meeting new
people, or a new beginning, I feel that it will raise your
luck and your mood, in accordance with the meaning of
the amulet that shibori has. This Pokopoko also has
elasticity and toughness and can be used not only for
casual everyday style but also a little special dress-up
The distinctive unevenness of Pokopoko is created by
shibori craftsmans using a string and a shibori stand to
tie each piece individually, and then heat-setting them.
In the old days, each craftsman learned one technique
and refined it over time.The master then passed on his
technique to his apprentice. It is said that there are
currently more than 100 different shibori techniques that
have been handed down since the Edo period.
Shibori fabrics are made in a time-consuming process
that involves deciding on a pattern, carving a paper to
print the pattern on the cloth, picture printing, tying,
dyeing, thread removal and finishing.
The technique used for Pokopoko, "Yatara Miura
Shibori," was derived from the "Miura Shibori"
technique, which was originally spread by Mrs. Miura in
The "yatara" in “Yatara-Miura Shibori” means “wildly
In contrast to Miura shibori, which the pattern is drawn
on the cloth in advance before it being tied, in Yatara
Miura shibori, the pattern is not drawn, but the
craftsmans use their senses to create rich shibori
expression with even bumps and unevenness, or various
size of pattern deliberately. It looks random, but the
work is very careful and neat.
In addition, the method of holding the thread when
tying the Yatara-Miura Shibori is complex and requires
a higher level of craftsmanship, as it requires the use of
thicker threads and stronger tension of the threads.
Arimatsu shibori has a long history as a dyeing
technique for cotton, but the International Shibori
Conference held in 1992 led to the fusion of Arimatsu
shibori with today's heat-set technology. Issey Miyake,
who was a member of the jury at the time, and others
asked why the unevenness created by the process was
not left as a expression of the texture, and that
prompted the Arimatsu shibori factory to start
developing heat-setting technology.
Heat setting, which is using vapor pressure, makes the
untied part of the fabric swell, and an fixes the uneven
surface as the texture.
The beautiful shibori patterns created by the fusion of
the heat-set process, recycled polyester material and the
traditional technics are now recognized as an art in
abroad, and the garments produced by the techniques
are like wearable arts.
Technology from the Edo period is fused with modern
technology and blended into our wardrobe.
The texture of each carefully hand tied bumps gives a
beautiful piece of handwork with warmth and rich texture.
LEINWÄNDE hopes not only to create clothing, but
also to grow together with the artisans and
manufactures, who have supported us.