TEXTILE DESIGN - About Shibori

Shibori is a Japanese technique of creating designs in dyed fabric. It is a dye-resist technique, using items that bind the fabric to create areas where the dye will not penetrate. Depending on the materials used and how the fabric is bound, the dyed designs vary from random splashes of color to highly symmetrical patterns. There are several different styles of this technique that are identified by the particular resist method used.

The arashi shibori technique creates a diagonal pattern of color. The cloth is folded or twisted before being wrapped around a pole. After being wrapped around the pole, the cloth is compressed from end to end, scrunching the fabric along the pole. String is wound around the fabric to hold it in place while it is dyed. The resulting pattern often resembles lightning or rain.

Kanoko shibori involves gathering the cloth in sections and tying the sections with string or rubber bands. This dying technique is also known as tie-dye. The pattern is varied by gathering different amounts of cloth into sections and by changing the tension used to secure the sections. The dye absorbs into the fabric in a starburst style.

Yet another technique, in kumo shibori a person wraps sections of cloth around objects before the cloth is dyed. The cloth is wrapped around hard items, such as rocks or stones, and secured with string. This dye technique makes a spiderlike design in the cloth.