A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shibori--Scrunching, Wrapping, Folding, Rolling

I am the novice of this group. I have never dyed any fabric on my own. ...so, I purchased some basic dyes, purchased soda ash, purchased some PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric, and read lots of information about dyeing fabric. Then, a friend and I had a "play day" yesterday. Here is what I did.

First, I twisted PFD fabric very tightly until it twisted back upon itself. I dyed it with an orangy-yellow color.
This is how it turned out. I love the surprise of this technique. (I'm sure you can do a "controlled" version when you really know what you are doing.) Part of the reason I got different colors in this piece is because of a mistake. I put the twisted up bundle into a plastic container with other pieces. They were all separated, but some of the run-off dye from other pieces ended up on this piece. What a happy accident! 
This is the container. (You can see a little of the orange piece on the top left.) The really dark piece on the top right was loosely rolled (on the diagonal) onto a piece of jute. Then, I scrunched it as tightly as I could and tied the ends of the jute together to hold it. I had the same situation with this piece as I had with the orange piece. It ended up sitting in some of the run-off dye from the other pieces in the container.
...and here is the piece. I used turquoise dye. The other colors came from the run-off dyes...another happy accident. I used PFD fabric for this piece too.
This is the piece that came from the pole on the right (in the container above). I dyed one side turquoise, one side red, and the middle yellow. I guess it needed to be scrunched up a bit more (or wrapped more) for the "shibori" designs to show up. I used PFD fabric for this piece.
This is the red piece that came from the pole on the left (above). The "shibori" designs are VERY subtle on this piece. I used an ugly muslin fabric that had white flowers on it. This is the back of the fabric.
This started off as that same piece of ugly fabric--muslin with white flowers. I figured I didn't have anything to lose by dyeing it. I accordian folded it and wrapped it on the pole. Evidently, I wrapped it too loosely. I also wasn't careful enough and dripped a darker dye onto it--lesson learned.
This is how it turned out. What started out as an ugly fabric is still ugly! This is the back of the fabric...I just can't take those little white flowers. There is very little change in the fabric other than color. I used a coral to dye this piece. Now, what can I do with it...any ideas? 
I also painted dye onto a flour-paste resist piece I had done earlier in the year. You can check it out on my personal blog if you'd like to see it. I'd like to have your opinions on what I can add to that piece. (I didn't post the picture to this blog since I didn't use the "shibori" technique to do it.)

Now, for what I learned...I read several blogs and books before I started. I found there were three ways to deal with the soda ash--prepare a soda ash solution and soak the fabric before dyeing, mix the soda ash into the dye solution, or prepare a soda ash solution and apply it to the fabric after dyeing. I MADE THE WRONG CHOICE! I chose to apply it after the dyeing. Since I'd never done any dyeing before, I didn't realize the error of my ways until it was too late. It might not have been so bad had I not chosen to do several colors. I had to have a SEPARATE soda ash solution for each color I used! The next time I do it, I definitely will make a different choice. As a matter of fact, I presoaked quite a bit of fabric in soda ash solution today. There may be more dyeing in my near future!


  1. I think you got some great results, especially if this was your first attempt at dyeing! I especially like your twist and the rope-wrap... great designs, and the overdyeing from the other pieces worked well! As for the ones you aren't satisfied with, overdyeing, discharging, stamping... the possibilities are endless!
    With soda ash, I never add to the dye mix since it shortens the life of the leftover dye. Other than that, my rule of thumb is that I pre-soak for direct application, or add the soda ash if I am doing low water immersion dyeing, but there are no hard and fast rules for that... just use the method that works best for you, and enjoy the fun!

  2. I agree with everything Judy said and I think your results are exciting enough to catapult you into another dyeing frenzy.
    As for me, gradation dyeing today and SNOW dyeing tomorrow. We're getting a foot on the coast along with 45-50 mph winds. Whoopie!

  3. I'm impressed with you results. Beautiful, beautiful! :)Bea


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