Shibori experiments

I’ve turned my humble studio into something of a fabric dying lab this week, as I’ve been consumed by testing shibori fabric folding techniques. I’ve found some styles I really dig and will continue to use in future projects.

But I’ve found some others that I am just not sure how to use in my work.

For example, the Triangle fold:

Shibori Experiment 1, folding technique test – Triangle fold, March 2017

I do like the pattern, it’s really neat. But I hadn’t expected for the pattern to be so very wide and there is so much white space. I’m not sure how I would use this medium weight cotton dyed like this. I typically sew little clutches and pouches, and the pattern is too “large” to translate to those projects. Maybe I could make a shoe bag or a little pillow cover?

Shibori Experiment 2, folding technique test – Triangle fold, March 2017

Same with the second test. It’s so pretty, but not a good fit for the kind of smaller projects I like to sew. In future, I’ll 1) dye the white cotton a light base color and 2) make the folds smaller to create a pattern with a tighter repeat that would work for my pouches and clutches.

Now here’s the start of something I really like:

Shibori Experiment 3, folding technique test – Mandala fold, March 2017

I was a little hestitant about how and where to put the dye on this style, but it seems that the fold really does most of the work. I can see how it would be possible to make smaller versions and use them in little bags, or make larger mandalas for wall hangings, pillow covers, even bedspreads. This is one of those experiments that was a delightful surprise. It was really gratifying to see colors dance like a prism in this technique. I forsee using this style a lot – just for the fun of seeing how it turns out.

And finally, here is one I have plans for:

Shibori Experiment 4, Pole Wrapping technique, March 2017

The way I attempted to get this look was really annoying to do – I used a million rubber bands around a cheap vase, which was easier going on than coming off. I ended up very wet and dye splattered, which was not my favorite. However, I totally dig the end result and I know how I’ll do it more easily next time. (Just use twine like the Shibori professionals do, dummy!) I plan to use this technique as a base for applique or for stamping/painting words and images. I kept the palette simple so that an image painted on top will really pop. We shall see…perhaps as soon as the next blog post!

Until next time, Happy Crafting!


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