When we debuted our semi-regular feature DIY Friday, one of the tutorials I mentioned wanting to try was Shibori dyeing. I gave it a go this weekend, and I’m really happy with the results!
Shibori is a Japanese method of dyeing cloth by binding, wrapping, or folding the cloth to create different patterns. On the recommendation of this tutorial from Design Sponge, I bought an indigo dyeing kit.
The instructions were simple. Basically you just dump the contents in a bucket and gently stir. I didn’t want to use the whole thing, so I just eyeballed 1/2 of each of the three substances and poured them in.
The dye has to sit for about 30 minutes after you mix it, so the next thing I did was to fold my fabrics.
I also tried a technique called Arashi, or pole-wrapping. I took another pillow case and wrapped it around some PVC pipe. I then tied strings tightly up the pole in about one-inch intervals.
Once I had all the strings tied on, I scrunched the pillow case down to create folds and pleats.
Next, I wet the folded fabrics thoroughly, and then submerged them in the dye bath.
My dye wasn’t deep enough to submerge the Arashi Shibori, so I used a foam paint brush to apply the dye while it was standing in the bucket to catch the drips. Each piece of fabric stayed in the dye bath for about 5 minutes. When they first emerge, they are a sickly green color, but exposure to air quickly changes them to a rich indigo. I let each fabric oxidize for a few minutes and then gave them another dose of dye. For the accordion folds, after the second time in the dye bath, I rinsed them in cold water and then unfolded them and let them dry before washing them in the washing machine. For the pole-wrapped version I let the dye dry overnight before rinsing them, just to give the dye a better chance of penetrating the inner wrapped layer of the pillow case.
I really like the results! Here is the accordion fold that was bound only using rubber bands:
And here is the accordion fold bound with wood blocks:
And last but not least the pole-wrapped Arashi:
The whole process was very easy, and unwrapping each folded fabric after dyeing was a fun surprise. I will definitely try this again–I’m thinking reusable wrapping paper, and maybe a tablecloth for the breakfast nook.
Have you conquered something on your DIY to-try list lately? We are always inspired by your projects!