Shibori Dyeing


Shibori is a method of resist dyeing that includes stitching, clamping and binding techniques.

The word comes from the verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” This word root emphasizes the action preformed on the cloth, the process of manipulating fabric. Many techniques of Shibori were developed following two paths: as a method of decorating the silk used for producing kimonos for the aristocracy of Japan, and as a folk art differing from region to region. Local forms of Shibori emerged to make cheap hemp fabrics look like new for the working class. In 8th century Japan, where we find the earliest examples of shibori, indigo was the main dye used. One can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in completely different patterns. Each method achieves a certain look and is used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed.

Arashi shibori is a pole-wrapping technique. This is the technique we used to dye our silk organza shifts! “Arashi” is the Japanese word for storm, and the patterns created in arashi shibori are always on a diagonal, which suggest the driving rain of a heavy storm. The cloth is wrapped diagonally while thread is used to bind it tightly to the pole. Next, the cloth is scrunched on the pole, resulting in pleated cloth with a design on the diagonal.


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