Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shibori dyeing experiments

I finished up my most recent class, Fabric Analysis I, last month.  As an extra credit assignment, we were tasked with trying out several different types of shibori and tie dyeing techniques.  I photoed a bit of the process....

This one is my favorite, called Plangi.  The process is to tightly tie tiny beads (even grains of rice!) in a regular pattern on the fabric and then dye it.  Here, I used pony beads, spaced as closely as I could manage.   The background fabric was dyed yellow first, followed by a dip in teal.

Each circle is about 1" wide.  Our instructor showed us a version that was amazing--super small circles, incredibly close together.  I couldn't even come close!

Another type of Plangi, which is essentially "tie dyeing".  I gathered from the center, placing a bead at regular intervals to make the concentric circles the same width apart.  Again, I dyed the fabric first, followed with teal.

Tritik was a type of resist dye using stitches.  The initial picture isn't very informative, but I sewed six parallel lines of running stitches, which were pulled tightly and wrapped around the fabric. 

Not my favorite version, but I'm also not convinced I did it correctly!

Pleating and Binding was another dyeing effect I tried out.  I used quilting clips, which was perfect for this application (and unaffected by the dyes).   The basic set-up is shown below, with fabric accordion pleated then clipped, but I did three different variations.

The final type I tried was Arashi Shibori (pole wrapping).  I wrapped a length of fabric around a narrow PVC pipe, then wrapped thread around the pole, evenly spaced.  Then, the fabric was squished toward the end, gathering the fabric.  I dyed the fabric yellow first, followed by teal.

This is the small swatch I submitted, but the rest of the length of fabric was equally beautiful and exciting!
I have to say, this was hands-down the most enjoyable assignment I've ever completed.  It took well over 2 hours, for a very small number of bonus points (which I didn't actually need!), but I loved it all!  I don't typically like the look of tie-dye, but there are some pretty designs that can be made and they might look interesting if used in small amounts in a garment.   Anyhow, I would highly encourage you to try it out for yourselves, if for no other reason than the fun of unwrapping the fabric at the end.  It's like Christmas!  


  1. Love them have always wanted to try this!!

  2. wow that is fascinating, I love them all too. Now I really want to try dying fabric.

  3. I love the binding clip variation!

  4. Anonymous12:51 AM

    This has always intrigued me, there are so many variations and no two identical. I love the binding clips too

  5. A friend was wearing the most divine scarf the other day which had tiny, perfectly spaced circles, but the truly extraordinary thing was that each row of dots was a slightly deeper shade of indigo. I couldn't even begin to imagine how!
    Yours do look like fun. That last zig zaggy one is great.

  6. I really like the effect of pleating & binding. Great fun & work.