Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shibori Shirts

I had a little fun with some Shibori dyeing this week.   Shibori is a Japanese term for dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, or twisting.  I was introduced to this method in these video.  Instead of just dyeing fabric I bought a few white T-shirts to try.

The video demostrates this method with rope but I didn't have any on hand so used PVC pipe for my first try.  First I washed my shirt in T.N.A. soap and then soaked my shirt in a Soda Ash solution to prepare it for the dye.  Next I layed out a garbage bag and layed out the damp shirt and rolled it on the PVC pipe.

I then used elastics to hold the shirt to the pipe and then scrunched the fabric together.

I mixed three colors of dye using a very small amount of dye, 1/32 tsp per color in 1 cup of water.

I poured the colors on the shirt one at a time from the top of the shirt down, overlaping the dyes to blend the colors.  I liked the pipe as I was able to keep the shirt out of the extra dye by resting it on the sides of the container.

 I rinsed the shirt in T.N.A. soap and then in Raycafix to set the dye.  Then a trip to the washing machine and dryer.
The wasn't happy with the fact the elastics left white lines on the shirt and I thought I would look for a smaller diameter pipe as well.  But overall I was very pleased with the results.

So for my second attempt I found a wooden dowel and covered it with foam pipe wrap to create a smaller diameter to roll the shirt on.   I also used string instead of elastic to tie the shirts on the poles.

There were no lines from the strings this time, yah!  I think I will try the rope next time to see if I get more texture and use a bit more dye to brighten up the colors.  Looks like I have something to wear next time I feel like dyeing :) 


  1. Kathy, you did a great job listing the steps to producing a Shibori Shirt. The instructions are easy to follow with your illustrations. I like your results. G

  2. You are getting great results with your dyeing, this looks fab and should make very nice fabric for a wholecloth or even quilt back!