Shibori anyone?

I am very excited to be offering Intro to Shibori at Beehive Sewing Studio in Northampton, MA. We’ll be offering the same session twice, Sunday’s February 14 and March 13, 4-6pm.

Shibori is the ancient craft of folding, binding, clamping and stitching fabric before dyeing to create geometric designs.  Modern fabric artists use the term shibori to describe many of these techniques. The word derives from shiboru “to press”. These words are Japanese and there is a very strong tradition of this craft there. The techniques also developed in other parts of the world. Today we see fabric decorated with these techniques in clothing and linens from Indonesia and India.

Itajime, soot dye on cotton

The traditional materials in the Japanese tradition are indigo, and cotton or linen. Modern shibori artists use all kinds of fabrics and dyes in their work. Both traditional and modern interpretations of this craft are memorable. Tie dye borrows binding techniques from shibori, but the way the dye is applied to the cloth is different.


Itajime, indigo on cotton

I had never dyed fabric before taking a shibori workshop with the fabulous Mo Kelman at Snow Farm. Well, after that workshop I was completely obsessed. There really is nothing else like it. The fabric and how you manipulate it makes the resists that creates the patterns. The fabric essentially decorates itself with your guidance. Every little thing influnces the final design: if you folded it, how did you fold, which direction, did you iron the folds, did you wet the fabric before you dyed it, how long did you dye it for with what kind of dye, did you immerse the whole thing or just dip the edges? All of these factors and more affect the uptake of dye by capillary action into the cloth. You can predict the design somewhat, but the beauty and fascination comes with all of the variety. 

Itajime, indigo on cotton
Intrigued yet? It helps to have a guide your first times trying out these techniques.  In the Intro to Shibori class at Beehive, we will explore the folding and clamping technique itajime, using traditional soot and mineral dyes from Japan. You’ll dye a piece of fabric to use in your next sewing project. Head on over to Beehive to sign up! 

Shibori anyone?

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