Tokyo Indigo

February 20, 2014
Tokyo Indigo

Widely predicted as a top trend in interior design for 2014, indigo is finding its way into a number of contemporary homes. In addition to this, textiles and homewares designers are drawing inspiration from the Japanese textile arts of Shibori and Boro. Creating indigo based works, these pieces transcend function.


On initial inspection, Shibori might be mistaken for tie-dye. On deeper inspection, the ‘tie-dyed’ Shibori is only one of many Shibori processes. These include techniques of binding, pleating, bunching or stitching. The method is dictated by the fabric being used, not the desired pattern.

The beauty of Shibori is letting go of expectation, and allowing the materials at hand to develop an organic, bespoke pattern. The resulting designs are vivid, intricate and sophisticated.

shibori screenprints large translucent


Literally translated, ‘Boro’ means scraps of cloth.

Historically, Boro was frequently repaired clothing and bedding, passed down generations. It was worn by peasants and artisans. It was also used for farmers’ and sleeping garments, and futon covers. Cotton dyed indigo was the prevailing material used.

The arrangement of the patches could not be predicted, where only hard-wear and aging cotton would determine the next position. At the time, the practicality of Boro far superseded the artful result.

Captors of family history, these pieces have now become collectibles.

tos boro indigo close

Japanese Indigo in Your Interior

While many of us won’t have access to these breathtaking collectible pieces, we can employ similar techniques when considering our own interiors.

The notion of family history should be brought into every space in your home. Our homes are a reflection of our lives, built up layer by layer.

The process is organic, we add piece by piece. We stitch things together over time. Ultimately, meaning is bound to our belongings through shared family experience.

Practically speaking, when bringing indigo pieces into your interior, consider the depth of the shade. It is complemented by crisp beech and soft greys. Consider the balance between shades - indigo will add tranquility and sophistication when artfully placed.

Here are some of our favourite indigo and blue pieces:

Contempo Osbourne Park Axel Crassevig Chair 2

Contempo Axel Crassevig Chair

Megan Weston La anga Co Artwork Fenton and Fenton

Megan Weston's La'anga Co Artwork - Fenton & Fenton

Life Interiors Bonnie and Neil Flower Tile Cushion

Life Interiors Bonnie&Neil Flower Tile Cushion