Collection: Obsessed with Shibori Tie-Dye? Here's Your DIY Guide
Originating in Japan, Shibori is a resist-dyeing method that means “to wring” or “to squeeze” that results in brilliant indigo blue patterns. Patterns are created various ways, using different methods to fold, twist, bind and secure your fabric. The best and most fun thing about Shibori dyeing is that there are no mistakes! When choosing the type of fabric to dye, it’s important to look for items that are made of natural fibers - cotton, wool, silk or linen are all great choices. We like to pre-wash our fabric before dyeing to make sure the color is even throughout the fabric. You can use Shibori techniques on just about any type of clothing or decor - baby onesies, tea towels, pillowcases, the list goes on!
Items You Need
Indigo Dye Kit of your choice
Fabric items to dye (clothes, home decor items, accessories, etc.)
Rubber bands (various sizes are helpful)
12-14” (roughly) length of wood dowel or PVC pipe
Large popsicle/craft sticks
Small stones/decorative glass stones
Large piece of cardboard or other flat surface (use for drying)
Here are samples of a few basic techniques you can try. Click on each one to see the specific steps!
The Japanese term for “storm” because it creates a pattern reminiscent of rainfall, also known as the pole-wrapping technique. You will need a piece of fabric (square is easiest, but you can fold sleeves, etc., inward to create a symmetrical shape if you’re using a different shape of fabric), a wooden dowel or piece of PVC pipe and twine.
This twist and bind resist technique can be accomplished in a number of ways, ranging from expert to beginner difficulty level. One of the easiest ways to try this technique involves wrapping small sections of your fabric over found objects, usually small stones or pebbles. The fabric is bound in place with rubber bands which will ultimately create spider-like patterns. You will need similarly shaped objects (we used decorative glass stones) and rubber bands.
Depending on which indigo dye kit you have, follow the instructions on how to set up the dyeing vat properly. Likely you will be filling a large bucket with warm water and mixing in the pre-measured powders and activation ingredients.
Make sure you wet all your bound fabric before submerging in the dye bath. Once the recommended amount of time is up, take your pieces out of the bath and check to see how well the dye has penetrated your items. Your fabric will have a greenish hue before the indigo has a chance to oxidize and turn its traditional deep blue color.
You can repeat the dyeing process as needed. The darker you want your indigo color to be, the longer it needs to be in the dye. Keep in mind that most dye will look darker just out of dye bath and will fade just slightly upon washing.
After dyeing, remove all bundles to a piece of cardboard (or other flat surface without a lot of texture). Leave overnight if possible to properly set. Once set, put on a pair of gloves and carefully use a pair of scissors to remove the rubber bands and other binding agents from your fabric. Rinse thoroughly under cold water. Wash in a washing machine with cold water and without detergent. Hang outside to dry or dry on the lowest heat setting in a dryer, iron as needed to set the design, and remove any wrinkles.
Experiment with different types of binding items from around your house, like clips or can lids or anything with an interesting shape to keep your Shibori exciting and fun!