Shibori is a traditional Japanese dyeing technique that manipulates the fabric to create patterns. This is done by folding, tying or bunching cloth and binding it, then dyeing it in indigo. The binding is what helps to create the patterns on the fabric. This helps to resist the dye from penetrating the fabric in those areas, leaving the cloth it’s original color and the rest blue.
Shibori Dye Kit
9” X 9” Cotton Fabric
Pair of Gloves
2 Popsicle Sticks
6 Rubber Bands
This kit allows you to dye one or two more items, so grab a plain white t-shirt or a white pillow case and try out the three techniques listed below! Before you start you’ll need two buckets filled with warm water, at least a 1 gallon size for each.
In one bucket fill it up half way with warm water, mix the indigo dye and reducing agent and top it with hot water. Do not stir it aggressively and cover it immediately because the indigo dye is affected by the exposure to oxygen. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
Use the 20 minutes to prep your fabric. Try any of these three techniques, or feel free to do your own!
Sticks and clothespins
Fold the fabric like a fan, same as the size of the popsicle sticks. Sandwich the folded fabric between the sticks and bind it together with the 3 clothespins. The area between the sticks will resist the dye and only the exposing sides will be dyed.
Make abstract rings by bunching up small areas of the fabric and place a rubber band around it. Try adding small pebbles inside to get defined round shapes. The areas covered by the rubber bands will create small, abstract rings of white.
Roll the fabric up tight in a ball. Tie the twine around the ball of fabric multiple times. This will come out looking like a beautiful marble pattern.
3. Now that your fabric is prepped, soak it in the bucket of only water.
4. Uncover the dye bucket, remove the top layer of cluster that forms. Then dip it in and out of the dyed bucket, the oxygen helps the dye set and darken. If you want it a light color blue, do not lift it up for air as often. Does this process for at least 10 minutes.
5. After dyeing, allow the pieces to dry and set. I like to leave them overnight before unwrapping the pieces.
6. Once you’re ready to unwrap, give the fabrics a good rinse in clean water and then carefully snip away the rubber bands and twine. Give it a good rinse. You’ll find that the fabric will be green in some areas but once the oxygen hits it it will turn blue. Allow 20 minutes for it to oxidize and wash it in clean water with a splash of laundry detergent. Let it air dry over night.