Shibori Indigo: The Ultimate Guide
Have you ever admired the beautiful color of indigo dipped textiles? Did you consider that you could create your own Shibori designs with natural indigo?
The Indigo Vat
Selecting Fabric for Shibori
Advanced Shibori Techniques
Textile Artist: Liberty Worth
Meet textile designer and artist, Liberty Worth! She believes that textiles are not only beautiful but that they "carry memories of adventure and lives lived." Her custom quilts weave together sentimental fabrics and personal stories to create unique textile heirlooms that celebrate and comfort. We caught up with Liberty to hear and see what she is up to these days!
We are in love with your memory quilt pieces! Walk us through your process and how you begin a personalized piece:
The memory quilt process is one that has come a long way since I began working with them. At first I was just making regular quilts with people's clothing - though even that is an emotional process. Gradually, as I developed my artistic voice more and more, my customers became more and more excited about incorporating artistry into the pieces that we were doing from the belongings of their loved ones. When people approach me to do a piece for them from treasured textiles, we always start with a short tour of my work, so I can hear from them which pieces I have made make them think I am the right person for this important work. Then they show me the items of clothing - we talk about which ones were most special - what they want to highlight. I take it from there and really try to tap into what I have learned about the person and the family to create a unique piece of art for them.
You and Hilary both have a background in interiors. How has that influenced or been incorporated into your art practice?
I love that Hilary and I both have that interiors piece. I actually really loved the Interiors industry when I worked in it - I was a textile designer for a large manufacturer. The problem that I saw in my 6 years in the industry was that everyone was talking about being environmentally friendly - and yet the sample process created more waste than I had ever seen. It was then that I began to collect some of the textile samples that I saw getting tossed out and I would use them in my own art and home. These beautiful textiles would otherwise have been going to waste and I found ways to use their beauty again. I think this was where I really fell in love with putting different textiles together - making scrappy modern "quilt-like" compositions - using disparate fabrics. I even like using the "ugly" ones. Eventually, I left that industry and spent a decade learning how to actually sew and make quilts - but I always wanted to drift back to using these interior design scraps. These days, I still have that passion, and as I have developed a reputation as being an artist that uses these materials, I have the most incredible collection of discarded fabric samples from designers here in Los Angeles who are looking for people to use them.
I also really love working with interior designers still - there's a part of me that loves that entire process of ideation through to product and I love being drawn into projects where we are working as a collaborative team to get a final product.
What inspires you?
Oh I love this question. Travel is nearly equal with art making for me. I am inspired by learning - I love learning about other people and other cultures. The diversity of my urban life in the city gives me constant inspiration, but I also am deeply inspired seeing nature when it's untamed, and seeing new landscapes, mountains, topographies and environments all rank really high for me. The idea of reusing things that were previously purposeless - things that were being wasted or had no future also inspire me - there's that reference to keeping samples from landfill again.
Color, memory, and shape play a big role in your pieces. How has your style developed or changed?
Color, memory and shape. - Over the years I have seen my artistic voice get stronger and more defined - but even looking back at paintings that I did 20 years ago, I can see the germination of what I am doing now. That was actually a fascinating discovery for me. Here I have spent 25+ years making art and reaching forward trying to find my artistic voice - and yet there were pieces of where I ended up in my sketchbook all along. I think as I have grown as an artist, where I have most changed is that I keep getting more technically sound in my work. My journey started off really free in my ideas, then I had to learn how to work technically and make work that was excellent, and then I needed to unlearn those techniques enough to bring back freedom and my voice back into my work.
We've got a special collaboration with Liberty that will go live on November 9th! In the meantime, find out more about Liberty and her work via her site and on Instagram!
Shibori & Natural Indigo Garden
Indigo Garden Workshop Recap + mini-retreat!
Have you ever admired indigo dipped textiles? Indigo dye is fun and can be a wonderfully mindful activity. Today, I'm going to share with you the happenings of our last workshop that was hosted at a very special Venice Beach location.
I'd also like you to know about our upcoming Natural Indigo & Shibori mini-retreat later this month. Now on to the recap of our Indigo Workshop! A lush garden complete with koi pond tucked into a quiet Venice neighborhood was the perfect setting to cultivate creativity. Attendees found it easy to connect with their fellow creatives as they explored the space.
We began the workshop with a a tour of the garden and a creative circle where each guest shared their back ground and current creative interests. I love it when creatives come together like this because it's really important to make it a habit to connect and tap into creativity.
It was inspiring to have educators, surface designers, a yoga teacher, an experienced seamstress along with creative entrepreneurs joining us. Some join the worksop to connect, others to relax, and all have a strong interest in beginning to master the artful techniques of Shibori. After a demonstration on prepping an indigo dye vat, I demonstrated several Shibori fabric folding techniques and everyone began designing their textile pieces. Experimentation is encouraged and our attendees did not disappoint. It was a great opportunity for everyone to connect as we folded fabric and prepped items for the vat.
The creative atmosphere was refreshing and attendees were sharing ideas as pieces were dipped into the indigo vats. As the indigo oxidized, attendees enjoyed light refreshments while catching up with one another. Then, creatives went back for additional dips in to the dye vat.
After all of the pieces had been rinsed came the most exciting part - when attendees unfold their pieces and reveal the Shibori designs! It is very gratifying to see the excitement unfold as you see the beautiful textile work they created. Gorgeous bandanas were unveiled as well as additional items such as scrunchies, masks, and a beautifully designed small canvas tote!
All photos are by Amelia Tabullo photography
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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