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Twenty-eight trainees from fashion houses, training institutions and home décor companies from East Africa learnt how to use the Shibori tie and dye technique on cotton, rayon, viscose, silk and canvas fabrics at a Hub sponsored training programme. The event, organised during April 24-May 12, 2017, covered the use of both chemical and vegetable dyes. 

The programme also covered tie-dye pattern techniques, development of products from the fabric, product marketing and pricing. 

The Shibori tie and dye training is intended to increase supply of locally dyed fabric and manufacture of high-end branded apparel and fashion accessories for local consumption and export. East African fashion houses and home décor enterprises are keen to use this technique to produce high quality products. 

Dorcas Kamene, one of the trainees from Tosheka Textiles, shared her experience: “I have learnt different Shibori tie and dye techniques. I have also learnt how to make quality designs through hand stitching. I am now able to make scarfs, pillows and dresses.” 

“We chose Dorcas to attend the training in order to learn and add on to the printing and dying skills we already have. With this knowledge I believe we will be able to produce new designs. Since we work with a community of women, Dorcas will transfer her expertise to the other women leading to additional skills in the organisation. The women will be able to earn an extra income since they can also work from home,” said Nyokabi Mwangi of Tosheka Textiles. 

Brenda Maraka from Uganda said: “This training will help me tap into the niche market of shibori as well as expand my product range.” 

“The training has been of great added value, I learnt how to do fabric decoration using the Shibori tie and dye tTechnique. The knowledge I have acquired will enable me develop new product lines to complement the existing products. This will help us attract new customers, leading to increased sales,” said Nakisanze Sarah of Easy Afric Designs. 

Shibori is a Japanese dying method that involves stitching, clamping and binding techniques. Several US designer brands use shibori-made fabric in their fashion lines and this training provided an opportunity for more East Africans artisans to learn how to use this specialised technique. (SV)

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Middle East Textile Journal

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