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.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Karen - No Strings Attached Shibori - Part 1

I'm sure someone else has already thought of this -- but it's a new idea for me.

Usually when I do shibori, I wrap the soda-soaked fabric around the PVC pole, wrap string around it, sometimes a rubber band at each end, scrunch it down, dip in or drizzle over with dye, batch, remove rubber bands, untie string, unwind string, unwrap fabric, rinse, wash, iron, and enjoy.  Phew.  I'm tired just writing about it.

But there has to be an easier way.  Right?  Since most of the work is in the prep, what if a couple of the steps were eliminated?  Like the string.  It's a hassle.  And, I've discovered, not really necessary.

I took my soda-soaked fabric, wrapped it around the pole, secured one end with a rubber band (I recycle the ones I get on broccoli and asparagus), scrunched, then secured the other end with another rubber band.

Then I rolled it in dye.  I mixed my dyes a little less strong than usual because I wanted to over-dye with a second round.

I like this one just the way it is.   I used one of the smaller diameter poles for this.

The one wrapped around the largest diameter pose was not that interesting -- a perfect candidate for over-dyeing.

Next: The over-dye results


  1. I also did some experiments and love to do this type of shibori without the string, looks great!

  2. I like the idea of not having to wrap with string! That has always been a drawback for me... nice to know it can be eliminated! And I love your results. Do you have problems with part of the fabric not getting enough dye? I hope you talk about how much dye you apply and your methods...

  3. I soak in soda ash after wrapping and stringing. I normally keep a 5gal bucket of soda ash water so it is easy to dunk it in. Or you could just put in a smaller bucket and scoop and pour the soda ash over.

    To make it easier to wrap the pole I made a jig with inline skate wheels and wood. I need to do a 2nd version and will post instructions then.

  4. Some things always come back around! Some years ago, Mike Mrowka appeared on Simply Quilts to demonstrate what he called "Fast Food Shibori" in which he wrapped, twisted and scrunched the fabric on PVC pipes. They had large buckets at Lunn Studios and would dye a bunch of poles at once. He said he was far too busy with production to worry about string. His fabric was always wet with SA when wrapping.
    It apparently works well since they sold a ton of shibori fabrics.


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