SHALL WE SHIBORI? : ADVENTURES IN FABRIC DESIGN

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Three weeks ago I and my fellow fabric obsessives (aka the Spoolettes), descended upon the Shibori workshop in Stanmore, Sydney for a few hours of indigo and fabric heaven.

Fabric design is an endless fascination for me, and the chance of learning something new in addition to getting my hands dirty was too good an opportunity to pass up!

At the Shibori showroom, we were greeted with much loveliness, including stunning fabrics on the walls and shibori dyed leather…delish!

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Pepa and Karen talked us through the basics of shibori and showed us several techniques to try. The most important thing was just to experiment and play with ideas. I don’t think anything that came out of the dye vat wasn’t beautiful!

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Such a stinky mess produced such amazingness…

Some of the techniques we learnt:

  • Itajime shibori A “shaped-resist” technique where the fabric is pleated then sandwiched between two pieces of wood, held in place with clamps, rubber bands or string.
  • Arashi shibori or pole-wrapping shibori is where cloth is wrapped on the diagonal around a pole. Then the cloth is bound and scrunched down on the pole. “Arashi” is the Japanese word for storm and the diagonal pattern is suggestive of rain.

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Tools of the trade for Itajime and Arashi shibori

I tried several Itajime shibori techniques – you can see how I have sandwiched the pleated fabric between two wooden circles and bound it with multiple rubber bands with the resulting pattern:

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My favorite was where I pleated the cloth and attached pegs on both sides.

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Here are some more of my shibori experimentations and finished scarf!

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A massive thanks to Susan of Measure Twice Cut Once who organised the day. You can check out her shibori post and her amazing pics here

Now to plot how to use my fabric pieces – part of a top, napkins, headscarf??

  • Oh I love love love LOVE the one second from the left in your group shot. Is that the arashi technique? Definitely as part of a top, maybe something like the aime comme Marie minute top – love that pattern for showcasing an amazing print!

    • Thanks Sarah! Unfortunately I didn’t find time to try the Arashi technique but some of the others did with stunning results. I think the one you like is created with pleats and simple clothes pegs. My fave too. I just checked out your version of the aime comme Marie minute top – love it, great idea for fabric showcasing!

  • Your pieces look so awesome! We really should arrange more workshops, don’t you think?

    • Thanks Christy – A resounding yes to more workshops!

  • This is some of the loveliest shibori I’ve seen around! I think the pleated piece is my favorite, too.

    • Thanks! You should have seen some of the girls who did lengths of silk – amazing.

  • Melanie Y (Miss Piggy)

    This was such a fun day…but I do wish I’d brought some fabric along to dye…for some reason I thought we got a big piece as part of the class so I didn’t bother! I want to Shibori everything now…though I’m still not sure what to do with my little pieces.

    • It was wasn’t it? I made the same mistake as you, so wish I had brought something extra. There’s always the opportunity for another shibori day though!

  • Oh wow, that peg one is just divine!

    • Thanks Kirsty – it was my favorite too. Beauty from the humble clothes peg, who would have thought it!

  • This is so cool! I’ve been looking into rganising a shivering workshop for the Brisbane bloggers. This just makes me even more excited for it.

    • Thanks! You should definitely organise a shibori workshop with the Brisbane bloggers. Not only do you walk away with some lovely fabric, it’s also a load of fun hanging out and getting hands on with fellow fabric enthusiasts!

  • Cath Laird

    I have been longing to do this. The prints are gorgeous!