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Make It : Shibori

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I have been a big fan of Shibori for some time now, so I was excited to attend a weekend workshop hosted by Sarah and her friend Dorothy.

Shibori is a Japanese method of tie-dye in which cloth is stitched, folded, and twisted before dipping into dye to create patterns.

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Running stitch is used to create patterns.

1 Running stitch is used to create patterns.

(Sorry for the grainy pictures; we were basking in the comfort of air-conditioning at this point!)

2 (Sorry for the grainy pictures; we were basking in the comfort of air-conditioning at this point!)

After sewing, the threads are pulled to gather the fabric.

3 After sewing, the threads are pulled to gather the fabric.

Sarah dyes and rinses the fabric.

4 Sarah dyes and rinses the fabric.

After dyeing, we cut the threads to reveal the patterns.

5 After dyeing, we cut the threads to reveal the patterns.

The anticipation...

6 The anticipation...

Results!

7 Results!

I was too impatient to leave my piece in the dye bath for the full recommended time, but I think it still turned out.

8 I was too impatient to leave my piece in the dye bath for the full recommended time, but I think it still turned out.

9

It was quite a nail-biter—waiting to cut the threads. Some pieces definitely turned out better than others.

Tips to remember for next time:

  • use a strong thread (like quilting thread) so it doesn't snap when pulled
  • gather the fabric very tightly so the dye can't seep in
  • dye and rinse the fabrics outside when possible (or risk a purple tub!)

I definitely recommend trying Shibori, but if the sewing part seems too intimidating there is always good old-fashioned tie-dye. I think either would make a great weekend activity.

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