Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Dyeing fabric with indigo is one of my favorite summer activities! Over the years, I’ve experimented with all kinds of different techniques, and I’m excited to share all that I’ve learned with you.

One of the most exhilarating things about using resists when dyeing fabric is the unknown result that awaits when you unwrap your piece. Shibori is a resist dyeing technique for creating patterns on fabric. It can involve folding, stitching, binding, twisting, clamping and compressing to create pattern. You’ve probably already done some Shibori at some point in the form of tie-dye. It can produce beautiful results, and it’s interesting to see how easily you can change the pattern through the resist. 

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Dyeing fabric is messy and indigo in particular can be a little smelly, so I recommend doing this outside if you can! If you have to do it inside, make sure to invest in some cheap plastic sheeting to cover your surfaces and protect your space.

Shibori Indigo Supplies Needed:
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
One thing to keep in mind while gathering supplies and materials. If you use it for dyeing, it should not then be reused in the kitchen.

Indigo Dye Kit - I don’t have a dedicated dye space or a lot of supplies that I can dedicate to dyeing in general, so I like to make things easy and use a kit when I indigo dye! The Jacquard kit I like to use can dye up to 15 yards or 5 lbs worth of fabric.

5 Gallon Plastic Bucket - Dedicate this to your dyeing, it will get stained blue! A bit of bleach and a scrubber can get most of it out, but be prepared.

Resist Materials - Rubber bands, cotton twine, clothespins, popsicle sticks, clamps, pairs of wooden shapes, pairs of plexiglass shapes, small stones.

My favorite shibori techniques involve the more basic of these materials, primarily rubber bands. Bonus, they’re cheap and you probably have plenty at home already! The kit also includes some.

Itajime shibori technique uses the pairs of shapes and clamps, and includes folding up fabric and clamping it between the shape pairs. The kit comes with a few wooden shapes. Rossi Crafts etsy shop carries a variety of plexiglass shape pairs that work great. I have some circle sets!

Long Rubber Gloves - My favorite are Clorox gloves,. They hold up really well, are inexpensive, and are long. Don't skip the gloves, the indigo will dye your skin and especially your fingernails. When I skipped gloves once I had to sand the dye off my fingernails, it was so hard to get out!

Long Plastic Spoon - For stirring the dye pot.

Plastic Pitcher - For measuring water, should have a gallon mark on it.

Choosing Fabric for Shibori Indigo Dyeing:
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Cotton - I primarily like to dye 100% cotton fabrics. It takes the indigo dye very well and is inexpensive. I’ve used a lot of Kona Cotton White, as well as Cambridge Cotton Lawn in White. You’ll also find fabric called PFD, which stands for “Prepared For Dyeing”. This just means it doesn’t contain some of the chemicals that could get in the way of the dye. It’s not supper important because those chemicals can also be removed by prewashing, which I recommend.

If you’re looking for extra wide fabrics, many solids can be found in 108” widths, which I’ve used.

Cotton/Linen - This fabric dyes well, although not as well as 100% cotton. It simply doesn’t get quite as dark. I’ve used Essex Linen with good success.

How to Dye Shibori Indigo:
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
1. Prewash fabrics. I recommend prewashing all of your fabric before dyeing. Use a gentle detergent and dry on high to remove all sizing and chemicals that could interact with the dyeing.

2. Apply your desired resists. I’m sharing some of the resists (and results) I’ve used below.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
3. Wet your resisted fabrics. I like to soak them in a bucket of clean water until I’m ready to dye.

4. Prepare dye bath according to kit manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll be mixing the chemicals and dye provided in a bucket with water. Stir slowly and carefully so as not to add too much oxygen to the dye bath. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and let sit for 30-60 minutes.

5. Remove a resisted fabric piece from the clean water. Squeeze excess water from the piece, before letting go, slowly submerge the piece in the dye bath. Hold the piece under, gently moving it around in your hands, so that you don’t add unwanted resist with your grip! Keep it under for up to 5 minutes. I usually do less, and I don’t time it.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
6. Squeeze the piece in the dye bath and slowly pull it out. Let the piece drip over the ground, not over the bath. Let it sit on the ground or in a clean bin. When it first comes out of the dye bath it will be bright green. It will slowly turn dark blue as the indigo hits the oxygen in the air. It’s really magical! Let it sit for 20 minutes, without removing the resists.

7. You may choose to re-dip your pieces to achieve a darker blue. I usually double dip all of my pieces.

8. After the piece has sit for at least 20 minutes, unwrap your piece and remove the resists. Unfold and reveal the pattern you’ve made! Lay out to sit and finish oxidizing if it needs to.

9. Rinse unwrapped pieces in cold water until water mostly runs clear. Wash and dry with a gentle detergent.

Shibori Indigo Resist Techniques:
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Accordion folded, secured with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Machine basting with a long stitch length, that is then gathered and tied.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with rubber bands. Over-dyed after resist was unwrapped.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Rubber band resist done symmetrically, with multiple resists per column of fabric.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Single rubber band resists done all over.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was scrunched into big messy balls and then resisted with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Resist done with small rocks and rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with clamps.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with clamps.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with popsicle sticks and rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Itajime resist held with popsicle sticks and rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was twisted into a cone and then resisted with wrapped twine.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was scrunched into a ball and then wrapped in twine to secure.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was scrunched into big messy balls and then resisted with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was scrunched into big messy balls and then resisted with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was folded and secured with twine.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Accordion folded, secured with twine.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Accordion folded, secured with clothespins.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Fabric was scrunched into big messy balls and then resisted with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Loosely accordion folded, secured with rubber bands.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Machine basting with a long stitch length, that is then gathered and tied.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Rubber band resist done symmetrically, with two resists per column of fabric.

Additional Shibori Indigo Resources:
Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar - Beautiful modern projects to explore natural dyestuffs.

Wild Color by Jenny Dean - Another natural dyeing resources with tips for scavenging dyestuffs.

Color Your Cloth by Malka Dubrawsky - My favorite dyeing resource, lots of information on wax resist techniques.

Fabric Dyeing Basics Tutorial - Basic instructions for dyeing fabric for RIT Dyes.

Happy Dyeing!

15 comments :

  1. Fantastic Jeni! I love every piece and all the textures are so exiting and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What fun designs you came up with! Love the indigo too :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. very cool! i've been wanting to try indigo but haven't gotten to it yet. has the dye crocked much?

    ReplyDelete
  4. These turned out beautifully! Bookmarking this for a late summer day ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh I love all of these!!! so great. wish I would have given it a try! next time, right?! I cannot wait to see what you make with these, maybe you have made something already!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Perfect!! What a marvelous weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You got some very cool pieces! What a fun kit to work with. My daughter is going to teach me the art of hand dying in a week or two...I am so excited to learn her surface design techniques!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very cool. I have a dye kit with green dye. I might have to break it out and give this a try. Best to do it in the warm weather, so it can be outside.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I want to dye more! It was such a fun day. I think your popsicle stick piece is one of my favorites from the day! And the pebbles, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, what a gorgeous transformation! I bet you guys really enjoyed this activity. I really adore the teamwork you guys have. And the outcome is really fantastic! Hope to see more cool and vibrant colors to dye! Thanks a lot for the inspiration. I might try this out. See ya!


    My Website: PhD by Publication

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! So amazing! That sounded like a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for keeping this blog a positive place, I appreciate the time you're taking to leave a comment! I'll answer any questions here in the comments section!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...