John Marshall Teaches the Secrets of Tsujigahana, February 2022


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We are very excited to welcome John Marshall for an intensive 2022 kimono construction and dye workshop called the Secrets of Tsujigahana.  This elaborate and luxurious technique combines design, natural dye painting with dyes and traditional pigments, immersion, shibori and binding to create layered and complex imagery on a hanten-style kimono blank that you create and dye yourself.  Tsujigahana is rarely taught in North America and this is a special opportunity to learn from John Marshall and his impressive knowledge of Japanese methods with natural dyes and surface design.

This workshop will take place over 4 Saturdays in February 2022 via Zoom plus a follow up session on March 12.  The end product will be a silk Tsujigahana hanten (or short kimono) garment embellished with Tsujigahana techniques.

Tsujigahana, if translated literally, means blossoms at the crossroads. This romantic concept perfectly embodies the fluid manipulation of color, partnered with a judicious placement of sharp, highly defined lines and monochromatic shadings, achieved through the marriage of string resist and brushwork.

In this four-part course, we will be focusing on how to plot complex imagery that will allow for the application of a broad range of colors and even match across seams. We’ll be employing a range of string-resist techniques, shibori, incorporating a process John has developed in which the strings are repeatedly tied and loosened as desired to achieve nuanced shadings and accents. The shibori imagery is brought to life in the final steps with the addition of thoughtfully placed pigments to add contrast and drama.

Each session is two hours in length and quite intensive. You’ll get the most out of the program if you follow along as John presents his carefully prepared video clips and then, at your own leisure, try your hand in the comfort of your own studio. This format will allow you to view up-close details in a manner not possible in live classes. Recordings of the Zoom sessions and chat will be posted online the same day and remain up for you to review 3 full months.

All workshops begin at 10AM Pacific and adjourn at 12 noon Pacific.  All workshop sessions will be recorded and recordings are available to registered students for 3 months after the workshop.

Session One (Saturday February 5, 2022) – planning your project: hanten construction, traditional Japanese approaches to design, and plotting imagery

Session Two (Saturday February 12, 2022) – how to prepare natural dyes for direct painting (focusing on small quantities for spot dyeing) and cold-water, non-mordanted baths

Session Three (Saturday February 19, 2022)  – Approaching shibori with new eyes: working with clamps, caps, and loosely bound string in combination with more familiar techniques

Session Four (Saturday February 26, 2022) – direct painting with dyes and pigments to achieve the signature tsujigahana look

Bonus Session (Saturday March 12, 2022) – review of all material covered along with Q&A.


The workshop includes a materials pack that contains unique and hard to source tools, fibers, dyes and pigments.  For US students, postage is included in the kit.  For international students, we will contact you with shipping information.

Included in your supply kit:
  • Liquid natural dye extracts
  • Indigo pigment
  • Two two-yard lengths of Japanese silk Jacquard
  • Organic marigold flowers
  • Japanese pigments
  • Cochineal
  • Flowering Plum pulp
  • Soy beans/fresh-ground soy flour
  • Mensou fude detailing brush
  • Specialized Japanese tsujigahana shading brush
  • Misc. shading brushes
  • Natural aobana disappearing ink
  • Chinese aobana pencil
  • Japanese stencil paper
  • Blue frisket
You’ll need to supply:
  • Fructose
  • Calcium hydroxide (pickling lime)
  • Waxed dental floss
  • Waxed sewing thread
  • Needles (sharps, the longer the easier to use)
  • Enough silk yardage for your garment – roughly three yards at 40” wide (you may want to hold off on this until you’ve planned your project)
  • Mordants – we will tell you which ones
  • Elasticator and bands
  • Plastic wrap
  • Baby food jars or similar small bowls that will take heat
  • Large embroidery hoop or stretching equipment
  • Pattern paper or butcher paper for plotting your designs
  • Colored sharpies
  • Exacto cutting blade, #11 blade
  • Chipboard or shirtboard  (stiff, heavy paper – similar to that on the back of writing pads)
  • Hot plate
  • Assorted mica pigments (optional)

We will provide detailed information on the materials that you supply after registration.


This workshop is open to all levels.

International students

International students are welcome!  Please note that we will contact you for shipping details to send your workshop materials via DHL.


Check out John’s short introduction to the workshop here!

Did you see John on our FEEDBACK FRIDAY? Watch the recording here.


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