少し (‘suko-shi’ a little) messy Shibori


Nuido It Yourself - Japanese Embroidery with Madeline Scharpf

My latest obsession is Indigo. It’s deep, mysterious hues have lent themselves to America’s favorite fashion trend, denim. I love denim too. Simon Miller denim brand is drool worthy. I want to bury my face in their fabric.

Photo from www.simonmillerusa.com
Photo from www.simonmillerusa.com

All I need for my Spring wardrobe is this scarf because it combines everything that is luscious and wonderful. Sweet boro, soft linen, sashiko, beautiful indigo and shibori. Maybe it’s too soon after the Holidays to be buying things and if you want to make your own, then you’ll need to know about Shibori.

You can buy this on Etsy. https://etsy.com/listing/202493401/free-shipping-indigo-boro-shawl-no2
You can buy this on Etsy.

Shibori is the Japanese art of resist dying fabric. Many cultures have used this technique and it’s basically known as tie-dye. Shibori can be a simple project that you do with your family on the weekend or a serious art form. YouTube Sensei will assist you with further instruction, like this video from Quilting Arts.

There are many types of Shibori such as Kanoko, which is made by tying pieces of fabric with thread or bands. This is a commonly known version of Shibori and the technique can be applied in countless ways. A more intricate version of Shibori is called ‘miura’ or loop binding.

Multi-colored Arashi Shibori
Multi-colored Arashi Shibori

Shibori can be made by wrapping and binding fabric around a pole. This is called ‘arashi’ (嵐 storm) because the pattern suggests a raging wind. You get the idea, there are tons of ways to dye textiles. So, when does the embroidery come in? Well, there’s a type of Shibori called, ‘nui’ (that’s right, like Nuido!) which leaves the fabric with a lovely effect that looks like the bark of a tree. All you need for this project is: know the running stitch, have some fabric, get some fabric dye and as always, break out your needle and thread!

Nui Shibori on cotton linen
Nui Shibori on cotton linen

Maybe you haven’t dyed fabric before, that’s ok, here’s a few tips before we get started:

      1. It’s messy. Wear gloves and clothes you don’t mind sacrificing to the Almighty Power of Crafting.

      2. Do a test run. This allows you to make sure the color comes out to your satisfaction. I’m no fabric dying expert, in fact, this is only my second attempt.

Glove, dye, bundled shibori and chopsticks for stirring.
Glove, dye, bundled shibori and chopsticks for stirring.

The thickness of the thread is up to you. I’ve got some crochet thread and am stitching by hand but I’ve seen people use a basting stitch on their sewing machine too. Lay down your running stitches on the fabric you want to dye. I’m using a scrap piece of linen so I can test my pattern and dye. Make your stitches as even or as organic as you like. Knot one end and leave a tail on the other end. When you’re finished stitching, pull the tail end and scrunch your fabric up into a tight little bundle.

Running stitch, scrunch, dye.
Running stitch, scrunch, dye.

I’m using a jar to mix my dye. I choose the color “Jeans Blue”. Did I mention that I’m really into denim right now? Follow the instructions on the package. I have to wet my fabric and then submerge for 45 mins, stirring regularly. Rinse, cut out your strings and reveal!

Lambswool yields a muted effect...noted.
Lambswool yields a muted, cloud-like effect.

When you’re happy with the results, try it on something you want to keep. I dyed these gloves that I received as a free gift when I bought a ton of yarn but I haven’t had a reason so dye them…until now!

I did Shibori on the arm part but not the hand.
I did Shibori on the arm part but not the hand.

Do you have anything that needs a good dye job? Give it a try!

I go fingertip-less, like Beth Chapman.
I go fingertip-less.

If you’re looking for some amazing Japanese supplies check Etsy. I found this shop with lovely textiles.

Aya Studio on Etsy
Aya Studio on Etsy

Have an incredible New Year! I’m looking forward to bringing you more Japanese Embroidery in 2015. Now, go make something!

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Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com as well as visit her Etsy shop.


Madeline Scharpf

Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family.
Madeline Scharpf
Madeline Scharpf
Madeline Scharpf

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