3 Basic Shibori Techniques: Kumo, Arashi, Itajime
Today, as a follow-up to the Shibori workshop that I hosted 2 weeks back, I am going to share with you 3 of my favorite Shibori techniques: Kumo, Arashi and Itajime. I learned about them through reading, lots of experimentation and practice. Head down to the bottom for resources that you might enjoy!
Before starting, I gathered all of the supplies that I needed for this project, which included rubber bands, beads, twine and wooden geometric shapes. Keep on reading, as I will share a more detailed list of all supplies alongside each method.
You are probably the most familiar with Kumo Shibori, which means spider-web and is a way to form a ring or a circle through binding. This technique comes to mind when thinking about colorful tie-dyed t-shirts, but it's origins are much older. Kumo is the practice of tying and binding found objects, which are often pebbles or stones. Below, you can see how Chris used wooden beads of various sizes to create uniform rings and circles on his tea towel.
I suggest marking with a pencil first, where you would like each bead to go. For the t-shirts below, I wanted the circles on a grid which I marked in advance. Then at random, I made concentric circles by tying two rubber bands, one inside the other leaving a slight space in between.
Arashi, is a pole dyeing technique. The word Arashi, means storm, and in this technique twine is used to create directional lines. This effect is achieved through wrapping fabric around a dowel or pole, securing it with twine, then dyeing it. For this method, a deeper vat works well and the fabric can also be scrunched up toward the end of the pole. Below, you can see a pair of white pants, which are wrapped around a dowel.
A 3rd method is Itajime Shibori, using various folds to pleat the fabric then securing it with shapes. Then shapes are applied to resist the dye leaving the space where the shape is placed white. Shapes can be cut from a variety of materials including wood, cardboard and plexiglas.
In the first example, you will see how I folded the fabric, using a basic accordion fold shown here, to make it long and narrow, then I folded a right triangle back and forth. Once it was all folded up, I clamp it using 2 wooden triangles and secure it with rubber bands.
TIP: I cut these triangles by cutting a rectangle (or square) diagonally in half forming, 2 right triangles with a 30/60 degree angles.
For the fabric below, I did the same long accordion fold then clamped the individual squares with a rectangular shape. This allowed more of the fabric to be exposed to the indigo dye, thus more of the fabric became a deep blue, leaving only the rectangle pattern in white.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about these 3 simple Shibori techniques! I would love to hear from you, especially if you try this project out at home or have any tips to share with other readers.
Simply Shibori by Fiona Fagan
Stitched Shibori by Jane Callendar
Photography: Photos #3, #5, and #11 by Amelia Tabullo photography /@mozat81 Instagram, all others by me.
HI, I'M HILARY.
A Day in the Life, is inspired by California
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