she wants Shibori all the time

Preparing and concocting

Cotton…all shibori-fied

White fabric wet with dye activator.

Cobalt and yellow.

I took my large pile of plain cotton fabric (scraps from tees and sweats, etc) and prepared them for dyeing. I cut them into manageable pieces and washed them with Synthrapol to get them ready for the colorful chemicals.

After running them through the dryer (no fabric softener, of course), I bound many of the pieces with minty dental floss, folding some like fans, pleating and knotting others.

Tying it all up

Newly mixed dyes.

Before unfolding.

I was ready to apply the dye, and the shibori shindig had begun! After a quick chemistry lesson, I used several different ways of applying the dye, including:

  • stuffing the fabric into canning jars and pouring in different colors on top,
  • using a plastic tub to squirt more concentrated colors throughout some of the larger pieces,
  • placing some of the twisted and bound pieces into ziplock bags and applying dyes with a turkey baster


Shibori dots, after.

Pleats, after.

More shibori dots.

I got to unveil the results after letting the bundles cure overnight. I must say, I don’t think I could ever tire of witnessing such transformations from plain to spectacular! For those of you who are regulars at this sort of thing: am I right or am I right?

I didn’t really have an expected end-result in mind, other than accomplishing several shades of ocean-blues and greens with a few “bubbles” in there from the bound dots. I trusted that the fabric would succeed in being patterned whichever way it wanted. It would be an extra bonus if it actually “followed my advice.” I’m squealing happy I didn’t drop the F-bomb on it.

As a side note, I’m really excited to be participating in the Paper Quilt Project for March, so I’ll be talking about that soon.

About Jamie

Jamie is an award winning artist who specializes in textile/fabric pieces (art that you wear), but also creates paintings, sculptures, and quilted works of art.
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