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Shibori techniques instructions

While on a Christmas holiday with DS and his family I did Eco dyed using eucalyptus, fig leaves and sea weed. The result was very pleasing.

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I was reluctant to try Arashi Shibori for ages fearing the steaming part of the process! Deanna said in her comments that steaming only creates the pleats. If I don’t care about the pleats I can dye without steaming. So here is my first Arashi Shibori. It was harder than it looked when Glennis did it. I didn’t have any gadgets to work with; only this drum- like tube. After a lot of winding I did not feel that I did all that well. Even so, I decided to put it in the dye bath as it was.

I had dyed the silk yellow the previous day. After the winding I dipped it in turquoise. I left it overnight for the color to react. When I unwrapped it after 24 hours I wasn’t totally happy with it. I feel that the winding needs more work to it.

I might have to over dye it with something. Maybe black or grey, but at the moment here is my first Arashi Shibori!



Autumn is well and truly here in Australia. With all the Autumn leaves beginning to fall I thought of experimenting with some leaves from trees in my neighborhood. This is the first Autumn since I started experimenting with natural dye. I don’t usually put any fabric in the dye pot until I see the colour the leaves produce. Today I’m dyeing with Pin Oak leaves (Quercus palustris). The leaves were nice and red, but they felt crisp and dried so I thought they wouldn’t give out much colour. To my surprise after 25-30 minutes of boiling a deep orange colour started to appear. I quickly stitched up a piece of Komasu Shibori and dropped it in the dye pot.

This is what I got after 30 minutes. I left it in the dye pot for a further 24 hours. After removing the stitchings the colour and texture looked good enough to eat! I was so eager to see the result that I forgot to take a photo before I untied the stitches. You can see how beautiful it looks!

I drew the square template right next to each other leaving less than an inch between them. I folded the fabric into quarters and only had two rows of stitching along the length of the cloth.

I haven’t try Arashi Shibori yet because I don’t like the idea of steaming the reactive dye in my kitchen! I will have to find way of steaming it outside!

My class mate Deanna was dyeing Shibori using natural dye with onion skin. It turned out very well. I love natural dyeing so at the weekend we went for a picnic and I found some Liquid Amber leaves on the ground and thought I would try dyeing with them. A few weeks ago I would throw in a piece of silk into the dye, but since I started this Shibori class I couldn’t help putting some Shibori stitches on the pieces. I was pleased how they turned out. The colour is not yellow or brown, but it has both yellow and brown mixed.

Very beautiful!

I have been using silk kimono lining that I’m using for all my other projects. Sorry I don’t know what kind of silk it is. I cut an 8″ x 14 1/2″ piece, fold it in half, lengthwise. Now you have a 4″ x 14 1/2″ piece. You need a square template 3″ x 3″ I cut my template out of soft plastic from an old DVD case. You can use anything for it. Mark a line across from corner to corner with a permanent marker.

I like working on my quilting cutting mat. Place the diagonal line on your template on the fold a little bit away from the edge of the silk. Line up the template point to a line on the mat. Draw lightly the half square triangle with pencil. Do the same on the raw edges of the silk leaving a 3″ space from the last point to the next point (you can leave more space if you wish). Make more patterns until you get to the other end of the silk.

The drawn lines are now on the silk (see left photo). Starting from right to left stitch with running stitch along the line. Make sure to tie a large knot at the end of your thread. When you finish, cut the thread leaving an 8″ tail. Complete the other motives until finished.

When completing all the stitching, drawn up the thread tightly (see above left photo). Using the same thread start binding from the base outward toward the point. The bigger the bit you leave unwraped at the points, the larger the area the dye can penetrate onto the cloth (see the above right photo).

The binding is now completed and you are ready to dye it. I used only one color for the cloth, but you can use more than one color if you wish. The cloth on the right was the original piece that I dyed using the same technique.

I hope my instructions are easy for you to follow. Leave me a comment if you are unclear about anything. Hope to see some of your pieces here soon.

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