Shibori-Japanese Tie Dyeing

Shibori is a method of shaping and binding fabric in such a way that when the piece has been dyed and the bindings removed, certain areas of the fabric have more dye than others. This is called bound-resist dyeing. Read on for five easy techniques.

Folding Fold a square in half, then fold two corners to the center to form a triangle. Fold the triangle ends to meet in the center to create a square. Hold the folds in place by tying them with string, using spring clips or clothes pins, or securing them with rubber bands. Or fold fabric in long pleats and keep pleats in place with the above methods. Try different ways of folding for different effects.

Scrunching Scrunch fabric into a ball and tie tightly. Dye fabric according to dye manufacturer’s directions. Once fabric is dyed and heat set, you can scrunch and dye the fabric again. Remember to use lighter dyes first, then the darker ones. Don’t over-dye with too many colors or the result will be muddy.

Tying Pull up small cones of fabric, wrap and tie. Do this all over your fabric or in random areas. Alternatively, pull up the fabric and tie dried beans, wine corks, or beads inside.

Stitching Use running stitches in lines, circles or other shapes, then pull tightly to gather. Depending on the size of thread and how tightly you can gather your fabric, you will get varying widths of lines once your fabric is dyed, heat set, and the stitches removed.

The Sixties Thing Roll your fabric into a tube and twist it. Bind or use rubber bands along the tube. Varying the width of fabric between the ties will give different starburst effects.

Remember to keep a record of what dyes and techniques you use. You may find one technique more appealing than another and you may want to try that method again. If you need a specific amount of yardage for your project, dye all of the fabric at the same time. You will never get the exact same results twice.

The Author:

Trish Doornbosch is and artist/graphic designer living in Northern Illinois.

Copyright Trish Doornbosch

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