Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Project - Shibori Dyeing

Well, it's Week 2 (see here for Week 1) of my complex cloth project and I decided what to do with two of my fabrics for a second step.  Being so inspired by Itchiku Kubota's kimono work, I wanted to work shibori into at least some of my cloths.  Two of them stood out as good candidates.  The brightly colored orange/pink one because it was a little brighter than I wanted it to be and the blue one - both weren't really that interesting and could do with some spicing up before I started printing, stamping, sewing, etc.  There are many shibori tying methods.  For these two, I decided to do ne-maki, ori-nui, and arashi.

*marbles or small stones
*nylon upholstery thread
*PVC pipe - I'm using a small amount of fabric, so I used a smaller diameter pipe.  The size of pipe will change how it turns out, so experiment.
*waxed linen string or artificial sinew (available from leather goods stores or on-line art supply companies)

Soak the fabric in a solution of 1/2 cup soda ash to 1 gallon water for about 20 minutes.

Orange/Pink Cloth

This is the cloth after I finished with the shaving cream dyeing last week:

First, I tied lots of small marbles into the fabric for ne-maki.  Put a small piece of the fabric around a marble or small stone and tie below it very tightly with strong upholstery thread or artificial sinew.  The plan here is to get a ring - it didn't quite work this time, but that's the plan.

After every several wraps, pull tightly on the thread.  Tie in a tight double knot when finished.  What you are doing is making a resist - the thread will resist the dye and keep it from reaching the fabric underneath.

I also added two rows of ori-nui.  To do this, use a running stitch of doubled strong upholstery thread and sew very small stitches in a long line.  Make several (at least 4) of these lines parallel to each other.  Leave about a three inch tail of thread at each end.

Pull the threads (all threads of one row at once) and gather them up as tightly as you possibly can.  Tie them together in a knot next to the fabric.  Again, you're making a resist - hopefully the fabric will be so tightly gathered that dye will not be able to reach the inner portions.

I then put the fabric on a rack over a tub and began to paint the dye on.

The main reason for doing this instead of dipping the fabric into the dye is to limit how much dye gets onto the fabric and soaks into the areas you want to be resisted.  To make ne-maki and ori-nui work well, you need to paint close to the resist but not right up to it, letting the fabric wick it up further.  I didn't do that this time - mostly trying to be fancy and get double rings from the ne-maki and a darker trail from the ori-nui!  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  This time it didn't work out as I planned, but it turned out very interesting.

I painted the rest of the fabric with a much wider brush.  Oh - I used Safari Gray if anyone's wondering.  When the dye is in place, put the fabric in a seal-able plastic bag and leave for 12 to 24 hours.  Be careful that any parts you don't want dyed aren't sitting in a pool of the dye.

Rinse, cut out the thread (very small scissors and a seam ripper work well), rinse again and wash.  This piece is a lot more interesting now!  It'll be fun to continue with for the next layers.

Blue Cloth

For this piece, I decided to do an arashi fold.  Arashi means "storm" - it often looks like wind driven sheets of rain.  There are lots of different variations, depending on how you twist and tie the fabric and the size of pipe or pole you wrap the fabric around.  This is the piece after last week:

First I twisted the fabric diagonally (you can also do this horizontally or vertically) and wrapped it around a piece of pvc pipe.

I tied it into place with artificial sinew,

and then squished it together as closely as I could and wrapped it again in a back and forth pattern.

I painted darker blue and a purple in stripes (again on a rack over a tub) and put it into a seal-able plastic bag.

Again, much more interesting!

Next week I'm using discharge methods to take dye off the fabric in certain places.  There are a couple of good products to do this with.  And until then I'll be pondering again on what my next steps will be!

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [22 Feb 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Wonderful. I love the results.

  3. I like it!!! and thank you for sharing!