Shibori

I suddenly saw the shibori technique popping up everywhere on my feed. Shibori is the oldest technique to colour clothes and fabric and comes originally from Japan. I thought it would be fun to give it a try, and It reminded me off the batik t-shirts I made with my dad when I was a little girl. The original Shibori colour is indigo. Unfortunately blue isn’t really my colour, especially this bright coloured version. And because of that my idea to make something myself was pushed aside.

Until I came up the most genius of genius ideas…. Use a different dye! Yup- just letting you know, I’m more than just a pretty face! So even while the more original colours are indigo and dark purple, there isn’t anything holding us to back give this colour palette a modern twist.

I wanted to make some new cushions for on the sofa and bed. So off to the shops I went to buy the materials required.

This is what you need:

  1. Fabric to dye
  2. Elastic bands
  3. Small timber panels or blocks
  4. Fabric dye
  5. Gloves
  6. Bucket

I used two different techniques. For the cushion covers I used Itajime shibori. The bed sheet was done using the Kanoko Shibori technique.

Itajime shibori

Fold the fabric as an accordion and sandwich the fabric between two pieces of timber. The idea of shibori is to make a pattern by only partly exposing fabric to the dye. So have a good think how much of the fabric you want to take on the colour. The more fabric is exposed, the more of the colour it will show.

Kanoko Shibori

Here you tie the elastic bands without the pieces of timber. You can use different folds and securing techniques to get a unique end result. For a circle you pull the fabric in the middle and secure the rubber band around it. For a line put the band over the whole fabric.

When you’re done tying up your little packages, it’s time to start dying. Follow the instructions on the dye you bought. I can assure you though, that it probably is a good idea to wear rubber gloves. I didn’t do this with my first trial, and it wasn’t pretty!

Let the fabric dry slightly before taking off the elastic band and/or the timber pieces. It’s so cool to start unpacking the little parcels as this is when their true beauty will unravel. Each design will have a different outcome and I felt is was a bit of a mystery of what would come out!

I’m very pleased with the results! The cushions are very subtle, I purposely made sure they would have large white areas, and only dipped them in the dye for about a minute.

The sheet was left in the dye for about 30 minutes, and as you can see it’s much darker in colour. I also think that the different fabrics absorb the colour differently.

I hope I inspired you, and you’re off to the shops now to buy the supplies and the dye in your fave colour. Let me know how you went!

x Lisa