Changs are a small family business born out of a love for Chinese crafts and a keen desire to keep in touch with our heritage. In particular, we are specialists in the traditional craft of indigo shibori or zha ran. We have developed close links with a rural Chinese community who produce this amazingly intricate fabric and this in turn has inspired our range of quilt kits and our homewares items.
About our fabrics
Shibori is a Japanese term that is well known around the world for this type of fabric, however in China the term is Zha Ran (tie-dye), which is traditionally produced in the Yunan region of China. There are a myriad of designs that can be produced with this technique of tightly wrapping or sewing fabric into folds and puckers, which is then repeatedly dyed in the vibrant blue indigo dye. Once the fabric has dried, the tiny stiches are then cut and the beautiful design is revealed. It takes incredible skill to produce even the most basic of patterns and years of experience to become proficient.
Beanpaste indigo or Lan Yin Hua Bu is produced in China near Shanghai, this cotton’s clear patterns are produced by mixing ground soya beans to a flour and mixing with water and lime to create a smooth paste. The paste is then squeezed through a stencil onto the fabric and left to dry, and then dyed in indigo. Once the fabric is dry, the dried paste is picked off to reveal the un-dyed parts of the fabric. The images made by this technique are somewhat sharper than those created using the tie-dye technique and therefore are more uniform in pattern. This fabric is sometimes also referred to as Blue Nankeen.
Block printed fabric is produced in India, this cotton is thinner that that used in the fabrics from China and is traditionally produced by printing the designs from wooden carved blocks, after dipping in a mud solution. The fabrics are then dyed and the mud acts as a barrier in a batik type of way. Many of the fabrics have mutliple hues, indicating the reprinting and re-dyeing process happens many times.
Changs are based in London, where we sell our products at exhibitions, shows and online as well as on Create and Craft TV channel.