Folk Fibers Blog


    I was introduced to shibori dye methods in college while taking the history of fabric class in the fibers dept at scad. Recently I have been revisiting the techniques. keeping an active indigo dye pot (along a slew of others) at my fingertips promotes the constant activity of testing and experimenting with cloth and color.  I love resist dying and when I started studying shibori I found it was just the right sort of sophistication and historical context I was looking for in what I knew before as tie-dye. I don't see the resist dye techniques entering into the crafting of my quilts, for now and maybe always...but I love the resist techniques in the application of garments and such. 

    Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye. There is an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results. -wikipedia couldn't have said it any better because they did. 

    1. Arashi Shibori is also known as pole-wrapping shibori. The cloth is wrapped on a diagonal around a pole. Then the cloth is very tightly bound by wrapping thread up and down the pole. Next, the cloth is scrunched on the pole. The result is a pleated cloth with a design on a diagonal. "Arashi" is the Japanese word for storm. The patterns are always on a diagonal in arashi shibori which suggest the driving rain of a heavy storm.

    2. Kumo Shibori is a pleated and bound resist. This technique involves pleating sections of the cloth very finely and evenly. Then the cloth is bound in very close sections. The result is a very specific spider-like design. This technique is very precise to produce this specific design.

    3. Itajime Shibori is a shaped-resist technique. Traditionally, the cloth is sandwiched between two pieces of wood, which are held in place with string. More modern textile artists can be found using shapes cut from acrylic or plexiglass and holding the shapes with C-clamps. The shapes prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric they cover.

    4. Kanoko Shibori is what is commonly thought of in the West as tie-dye. It involves binding certain sections of the cloth to achieve the desired pattern. Traditional shibori requires the use of thread for binding (shown here). The pattern achieved depends on how tightly the cloth is bound and where the cloth is bound. If random sections of the cloth are bound, the result will be a pattern of random circles. If the cloth is first folded then bound, the resulting circles will be in a pattern depending on the fold used.

    When dyeing with indigo the cloth comes out of the dye bath bright green and when it hits the air it immediatly starts to oxidate and turn dark indigo blue. I will share more about this magical process in another blog post.

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  • Comments on this post (18 comments)

    • carlos says...

      Which is the comercial name of thread to dye? And can you give me a link to make hon hitta kanoko technique?

      On February 03, 2016

    • Duepayaccug says...
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      On November 18, 2015

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      Разрабатывались методики снижения себестоимости товаров для снижения рыночной стоимости продукции, что в свою очередь интересовало не только компанию, но и, конечно, Заказчика.

      On November 01, 2015

    • Bouquet Elisabeth says...

      génial où puis-je apprendre la technique
      j’habite Paris

      On May 07, 2015

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    • MomA says...

      I love-love-love it! Last summer I had fun teaching a tie-dye class with kids- but it didn’t make this summer – so I can enjoy your creations vicariously!! Shibori – never heard that – its anything but “bori” that’s for sure..ha! I would love to see it in a quilt! Sometime could/would you make something for the cabin?? that would be so cool!!
      PS how do you get the dye off your hands?

      On July 17, 2012

    • Karen T says...

      I just tried my hand at some of this stuff the other day. I’m such an indigo fan but have never had access to a pot of it before. Had a lot of fun ( but yours are just spectacular.

      On July 11, 2012

    • k says...

      love the shibori patterns you created.

      On July 09, 2012

    • Becca says...


      On July 09, 2012

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