Make It Happen: A Shibori DIY

January 26, 2014

Erstwhile summer camp tie-dyers, have we got a DIY for you! Instead of day-glo hues and rubberband-bunched tees, however, we’re working with the refined techniques of the Japanese art of shibori. Traditionally created using indigo dye (which dovetails nicely with our current obsession), shibori dyeing yields simply beautiful, utterly one-of-a-kind results. For this tutorial, we’re focusing on two methods: arashi, accomplished by dyeing fabric wrapped around a pole, and itajime, a resist-dyeing technique involving folding. Ready to give it a try?


For both techniques you’ll need:
Shibori dye kit
Linen or cotton fabric
Rubber gloves
Bucket Scissors


For arashi (wrapping):
PVC pipe
Cotton twine

Wrap fabric diagonally around the pipe. Tightly wind the string around the fabric, and tie. Scrunch the fabric around the pipe to create ridges and nooks for the dye.

For itajime (folding):
Small wood blocks

Fold the fabric like an accordion, length-wise. Fold again into a square. Sandwich in between the wooden blocks, and clamp tightly.


Dip the wrapped or clamped fabric into plain water. Following the directions on your shibori dye kit, then dip the fabric into the dye bucket for about a minute, gently manipulating it to ensure that the dye distributes evenly.


Remove the fabric and let the color develop for about twenty minutes. For a darker blue, repeat dyeing for another minute and let dry again. Rinse the fabric with water and undo the string or clamp to reveal your creation.


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